T-Birds Look to Continue Rhythm in BridgeportFeb 1, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Springfield Thunderbirds (21-24-1-1) entered the All-Star break with wins in eight of their last eleven games, and they will now look to kick off February on a high note as they visit the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (22-16-4-2) on Friday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Webster Bank Arena.
The season series between the bitter rivals has seen home ice pay dividends. The visiting team has failed to win in any of the first seven contests during the 2017-18 campaign. Of those seven games, six have been decided by two goals or less, while four have been decided by a single goal.
The two teams met for a home-and-home series the week before the AHL All-Star Classic, with Springfield taking a 5-3 win on Jan. 26 at the MassMutual Center to answer a 3-1 Bridgeport win on Jan. 24 at Webster Bank Arena.
After scoring just four goals in three straight defeats from Jan. 19 to Jan. 24, the Thunderbirds offense rekindled for 10 goals in its last two contests heading into the break. Anthony Greco has now recorded goals in three straight contests and sits atop the Thunderbirds with 18 on the season. Springfield's franchise record is 19, set last season by Paul Thompson.
In net, Evan Cowley has been thrust into duty because of injuries to a pair of goaltenders in Florida, and the rookie has made the most of it in his last two games, stopping 67 of 72 shots and racking up a pair of victories behind the red-hot offensive attack. In Springfield's last six wins, the Thunderbirds have ended the game with four or more goals.
All-Star Alex Grenier preceded his 104.1 MPH hardest shot title with two goals in the Thunderbirds latest game, a 5-2 win over Providence in front of a sold out MassMutual Center on Jan. 27 against the Providence Bruins. The rugged winger now leads Springfield skaters with 35 points on the season.
A big reason for the Thunderbirds offensive surge last Saturday was the team's power play unit, which went 3-for-4 against Providence after going just 1-for-19 in its prior five games.
Bridgeport, meanwhile, bounced back from its loss in Springfield to dispatch the Hershey Bears by a final count of 3-1 on Saturday at the Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport has won five straight at its home rink and has an 8-0-1-1 record in their last 10 games at Webster Bank Arena. They have allowed just four goals in their three victories in Bridgeport against the Thunderbirds.
The Sound Tigers have had this success despite being without star defenseman Devon Toews, who was lost to injury earlier this season, while forward Tanner Fritz and defenseman Sebastian Aho both earned call-ups to the New York Islanders. The Sound Tigers have scored the second fewest goals of any Atlantic Division teams (126).
After the game in Bridgeport, the Thunderbirds get another long recess before beginning a three-game, four-day stretch on Weds., Feb. 7 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the MassMutual Center.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Ticket Memberships. Packages include a wide range of benefits, including a refillable collector’s mug. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.