T-Birds Look for 6th Straight Win Hosting Bridgeport FridayNov 1, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (6-0-0-2) will look to pick up a team-record sixth consecutive victory on Friday night when they open a home-and-home series with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4-4-1-0) at the MassMutual Center for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop. The two clubs will rematch at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
This will mark the first of ten regular season matchups with the Sound Tigers. Springfield won all five matchups inside the MassMutual Center against Bridgeport in 2017-18, scoring four or more goals in each of those triumphs.
This year's Thunderbirds boast the AHL's top offense through the first eight games of their season, with an average of 4.75 goals per game. The Thunderbirds have been almost as stout defensively, sllowing just 2.50 goals per game, the third-best mark in the AHL. Three different Thunderbirds forwards have already eclipsed double digits in points: Harry Zolnierczyk (12), Henrik Borgstrom (11), and Anthony Greco (10).
Borgstrom was honored on Thursday by the AHL as the CCM Rookie of the Month after putting up two four-point games in his first seven AHL contests. The 21-year-old former first round selection of the Florida Panthers had two goals and two assists in Springfield's latest win, a 6-2 defeat of Hartford on Oct. 28.
Bridgeport has opened the season with wins in four of their first nine contests. They have been paced offensively by veterans Michael Dal Colle (eight points in seven games) and Steve Bernier (five goals in nine games). Goaltending has been a weakness in the early season for the Sound Tigers, as their netminders have combined for an .874 save percentage and 3.84 goals against average through the season's opening month.
Springfield will look to piggyback off the performance of Jayce Hawryluk, who picked up the AHL's third different five-point performance in Sunday's win against Hartford. His goal and four assists marked the first time in the Thunderbirds' team history that a player picked up five points.
On the back end, both Sam Montembeault and Chris Driedger have remained stout. Montembeault has won each of his first four starts, posting a .938 save percentage and 2.00 goals against average in the process. Driedger, meanwhile has earned five of a possible six points in his three starts, posting a 2.60 goals against average and .923 save percentage.
Upon completing the home-and-home with the Sound Tigers, the Thunderbirds will make another trip to the state of Pennsylvania for matchups at Lehigh Valley on Nov. 9 and in Hershey on Nov. 10.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about 2018-19 Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages include a wide range of benefits, including the lowest prices for the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.