T-Birds Open Final Road Weekend in HartfordApr 7, 2017
(Photo Courtesy Hartford Wolf Pack)
Hartford, CT- The Springfield Thunderbirds (29-31-9-2) kick off their final road trip weekend down route I-91 to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack (23-41-4-2) for a 7:15 p.m. ET puck drop at the XL Center.
Heading into the ninth matchup between the division rivals, Springfield has earned 12 of a possible 16 points in the season series, going 5-1-1-1 against Hartford, including a 2-0-1-1 mark at the XL Center. The Thunderbirds handled Hartford in the clubs' last meeting, a 5-2 win on Pink in the Rink night at the MassMutual Center on March 11. That evening, Springfield outshot the Wolf Pack 45-15 as the club erased a 2-0 second period deficit to rattle off the game's final five goals.
Sam Brittain picked up the win in the Thunderbirds goal crease that evening, stopping 13 shots. Brittain has started each of Springfield's last three games, allowing just five goals on 75 shots in that time. Springfield does have Adam Wilcox back in the fold though, as the goaltender was reassigned to the Thunderbirds by the Florida Panthers. In his brief Thunderbirds tenure, Wilcox has been a wall, winning four games while posting a 2.02 goals against average and .932 save percentage. He has two shutouts to his credit with Springfield as well.
The Thunderbirds will look to bounce back from a 2-1 afternoon defeat in Bridgeport on Tuesday, a game that saw Springfield and the Sound Tigers combine for just 38 shots on goal. Thomas Schemitsch recorded his first AHL goal for the Thunderbirds in the losing effort.
The Wolf Pack sit at the bottom of the AHL standings with just 52 points, but Hartford boasts a very strong record of 16-7-4-3 in one-goal games during the 2016-17 season. Each of their three victories against the Thunderbirds have come by a single goal, including two beyond regulation at the XL Center. AHL All-Star First Team right winger Taylor Beck has not skipped a beat in Hartford since being acquired from Bakersfield, tallying 13 points in his first 14 Wolf Pack games. AHL All-Star classic participant Nicklas Jensen also sits fourth in the AHL with 28 goals on the campaign.
The Wolf Pack roster now also features a trio of new professional players, with forwards Ty Ronning (Vancouver, WHL) and Vinni Lettieri (Univ. of Minnesota) joining up front and defenseman Vince Pedrie (Penn State) adding depth on the blue line. Of those three, Ronning has had the early success, potting his first AHL goal in his second game on March 25 vs. Bridgeport.
Following action on Friday night in Hartford, the Thunderbirds hop on the bus to close their road slate where it began against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for a 7:05 p.m. ET puck drop on Saturday.
Interested in becoming a part of the next era of professional hockey in Springfield? Earn your wings with Springfield Thunderbirds 2017-18 Ticket Memberships, which start as low as $12 per game and feature the most exclusive benefits, including a commemorative jersey and brand new Collectors Mug. For more information, fans may call the Thunderbirds ticket office at (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.