T-BIRDS OPEN HOMESTAND FRIDAY VS. WOLF PACKJan 31, 2019
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (20-16-6-4) will look to regain a top-four position in the Atlantic Division as they kick off a three-game homestand on Friday against the Hartford Wolf Pack (19-21-3-2) before welcoming the Utica Comets (23-18-3-2) on Saturday night for Pedro Martinez Bobblehead Night presented by MassLive.
The Thunderbirds will look to continue their longstanding success against the Wolf Pack, having earned points in 21 of 27 all-time matchups with their I-91 rivals. Springfield holds a 3-1-1-0 record against Hartford this season, including a 7-4 win at the XL Center in the teams' last meeting on Jan. 23. Thunderbirds captain Paul Thompson made team history with a four-goal night, the first since the Thunderbirds' inception in 2016.
With his four-goal outburst, Thompson now finds himself in a tie for second in the entire American Hockey League with 22 goals this season. Only Grand Rapids forward Chris Terry (23) has more. Springfield's league-best power play went 3-for-5 in that victory and boasts a 40.7% success rate against the Wolf Pack this season (11-for-27).
In each of Springfield's three wins over the Wolf Pack, Chris Driedger has been the man between the pipes. In those three starts, the veteran goaltender has a 2.00 goals against average and .944 save percentage. That includes a 40-save shutout on Jan. 19 in Hartford.
On Saturday, the Thunderbirds continue their weekend set as they welcome the Utica Comets for the final time this season inside the MassMutual Center. Springfield is still seeking its first win against the Comets in the 2018-19 season after falling 5-2 on Dec. 7 at the Adirondack Bank Center and 2-1 on Dec. 21 on home ice.
The Thunderbirds enter the weekend with 50 points in the Atlantic Division, and in spite of being in fifth place, Springfield rests just four points out of second place in the tightly contested Atlantic. Springfield enters a busy stretch of games against North Division opponents. Beginning with Utica on Saturday, the Thunderbirds will play four games against North Division teams in a 15-day stretch. Springfield is 5-4-2-0 so far against North opponents in 2018-19.
Fans interested in purchasing ticket packages for the remainder of the 2018-19 Springfield Thunderbirds season are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com or call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).