T-Birds Look for Payback in ProvidenceOct 13, 2017
Providence, R.I. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (0-1-0-0) take to the road for a second consecutive tilt in Providence against their division rival Providence Bruins (1-0-0-0) on Friday night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
The Thunderbirds will have payback on the brain following a season-opening 5-2 loss against their same rivals last Saturday in Rhode Island. Springfield had no shortage of opportunities, including seven power play chances, but the Thunderbirds offense was slow in getting started.
The Bruins took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission and forced the Thunderbirds to play catch-up for the remainder of the game. Bright spots for Springfield, however, came in the forms of Alex Grenier's two-assist debut and Henrik Haapala picking up his first AHL goal on a nifty deke to the slot early in the third period. Haapala nearly scored a second tally moments later, but after a lengthy review, his wrist shot was deemed to catch only the underside of the crossbar.
The Thunderbirds will once again need to try to find a way to solve Zane McIntyre, who projects to start his second straight game in net for Providence. In three career starts against Springfield, McIntyre has allowed just three goals while posting a 3-0-0 record. Harri Sateri was pegged with the loss for the Thunderbirds on Saturday in a 21-save defeat.
Samuel Montembeault awaits his opportunity for his first AHL start. The 20-year-old netminder was strong in a 2-1 preseason victory over the Bruins on Sep. 29 in which he made 27 stops. Springfield will look to pick up its first win of the new season, which would be just their second-ever triumph at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The Thunderbirds hold a 1-5-1-0 mark in Providence.
Despite those figures, good news for the Thunderbirds arrives in the form of Denis Malgin, who was loaned to Springfield by Florida earlier in the day. In just 15 AHL games a season ago, the 20-year-old Malgin contributed three goals and nine assists while posting a +6 rating.
Coverage of tonight's action in Providence begins at 7:00 p.m. on NewsRadio 560 WHYN and the iHeartMedia app.
Springfield returns home on Saturday for Opening Night, presented by MGM Springfield. Tickets for this game have sold out, but the pregame Block Party featuring Trailer Trash is open to the public from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Court Square in downtown Springfield.
If you missed out on Opening Night tickets, fear not – the Thunderbirds will remain on home ice this Sunday at 3:05 p.m. for Kids Opening Day against the Toronto Marlies. Area mascots will make the journey to Springfield to help kick off the festivities when doors open at 2:00 p.m. Friendly’s Sundae Funday packs are available for the game as well. Starting at $44, fans can receive four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas, four popcorns, and four Friendly’s Ice Cream Sundae Coupons.
The Thunderbirds will also be back on home ice for the first 3-2-1 Friday on October 20 as they host the Providence Bruins. Rene Rancourt will perform the national anthem as he makes his annual pilgrimage to Springfield, presented by King Ward Coach Lines. Through the end of the first period, Coors Light drafts are just $3, hot dogs are just $2, and sodas are available for $1.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages start at just $12 per game, and Thunderbirds Full Season Ticket Members receive the most benefits, including a refillable collector’s mug and a commemorative jersey. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visitwww.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.