T-Birds Look To Start First Winning Streak in Wilkes-Barre

Oct 21, 2016

(Photo Courtesy of Jon Tenca/Puck Stopper Photography)

Wilkes-Barre, PA – The Springfield Thunderbirds (1-1-0) are set to complete their three-game road trip to start the regular season on Friday night as they face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (1-0-0) at the Mohegan Sun Arena for a 7:05 p.m. ET puck drop. 

The Thunderbirds are coming off of the club's first win in franchise history, a 2-1 defeat of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Oct. 16. Brody Sutter and MacKenzie Weegar each scored a goal and added an assist on a night when Springfield allowed only 18 shots against through 60 minutes.
In net, Reto Berra was strong when called upon, taking a shutout deep into the third period and making 17 stops to pick up the first goaltending triumph in team history.
The Sunday matinee in Bridgeport was not without its oddities, however. Within the span of just 37 seconds in the middle period, Springfield was awarded a pair of penalty shot attempts, but neither Kyle Rau (stopped) nor Rihards Bukarts (no shot on net) could extend what was, at the time, a 1-0 Thunderbirds advantage.
The Penguins, meanwhile, are coming off of a single game weekend to start their 2016-17 season. Wilkes-Barre, which has reached the Calder Cup playoffs in each of the last 14 seasons, gave the home crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena plenty to smile about in a 6-2 opening night victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Oct. 15. The Penguins' power play was a perfect 2-for-2, the penalty kill a perfect 6-for-6, and six different Wilkes-Barre skaters picked up goals in the triumph.
Jake Guentzel paced the Penguins' offense, scoring a goal and adding three assists in his very first AHL game. Josh Archibald, Carter Rowney, Oskar Sundqvist, Jean-Sebastian Dea, and David Warsofsky also lit the lamp for Wilkes-Barre. 
It is the first of six matchups between the Thunderbirds and Penguins in the 2016-17 season. The teams will play their next contest on Saturday, Oct. 29 at the MassMutual Center at 7:05 p.m. ET. 
The Thunderbirds will open their home ice schedule at the MassMutual Center tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 22 for Opening Night presented by MGM Springfield against the St. John's Ice Caps. Preceding the game is the T-Birds Tailgate from 4-6 p.m. at Court Square, adjacent to the MassMutual Center.
Tickets to the Thunderbirds' home opener are sold out; however, In celebration of this sell out milestone, the Thunderbirds will be offering up to $5 off the price of a ticket for next Friday and Saturday’s games.  This is an opportunity both for those who were unable to make it to Opening Night as well as those who want to come back for more. The Friday, October 28th game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers is $1 Night (with $1 hot dogs, soda, and popcorn) and launches the Pregame Concert Series. Saturday, against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, features T-Birds Trick or Treat for Halloween. Each game is set for a 7:05 p.m. ET puck drop.
Interested in being part of the next era of AHL hockey in Springfield? Springfield Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships start as low as $12 per game and feature the most exclusive benefits, including a commemorative jersey. For more information, fans may call the Thunderbirds ticket office at (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
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