T-Birds Open Busy March vs. Hartford FridayMar 1, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (25-28-2-1) begin their busiest month of the 2017-18 season on Friday night when they welcome the Hartford Wolf Pack (26-25-4-3) for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop at the MassMutual Center.
The I-91 rivalry has favored the Thunderbirds so far in the 2017-18 season, with Springfield going 6-3-0-0 over the nine-game series to date. It is the first meeting between the clubs since Jan. 15, when the Thunderbirds left Springfield with an emphatic 5-1 victory.
The Wolf Pack have come down to earth after earning points in 10 straight games between Jan. 19 and Feb. 10, going 9-0-1-0 in that span. Since Feb. 10, Hartford is just 2-5-0-0, including two shutout losses in their last four contests. Zane McIntyre picked up his league-high sixth shutout for Providence in a 2-0 win over the Wolf Pack at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Saturday.
Springfield, meanwhile, has picked itself up from a five-game losing slide to win three straight games, scoring 10 goals in the three victories over Providence, Charlotte, and Utica in the process. Anthony Greco picked up his first two game-winning goals of the season in each of the Thunderbirds' last two triumphs against the Checkers and Comets. The T-Birds' all-time leading goal scorer sits on a franchise-record 21 goals this season, good for a tie for 10th in the AHL.
At the other end, the other scorching hot Thunderbird of late has been goaltender Harri Sateri. Combined with his 5-1-0 record in his final six starts prior to his Florida call-up, the 28-year-old is now 8-1-0 in his last nine total AHL starts. In that time, he has accumulated a 2.00 goals against average and .937 save percentage.
Following Friday's tilt with their division rivals, the Thunderbirds come right back to their home rink on Saturday night to close the season series with the Charlotte Checkers. Springfield is 12 points behind Charlotte in playoff positioning entering this weekend, and the home team has won each of the first seven games in the season series. The Thunderbirds will look for an even split of their first season competing against Charlotte.
From there, the Thunderbirds take to the road to finish their weekend with their fourth Sunday afternoon trip to the Dunkin' Donuts Center against the Bruins. Springfield has won two of the first three Sunday road games in Providence to this point in the season.
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.