T-Birds Shoot to Snap Sound Tigers' StreakFeb 4, 2017
Bridgeport, CT- The Springfield Thunderbirds (16-20-6-2) will once again try to play the role of streak snappers on Saturday as they visit the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (26-15-1-1) at the Webster Bank Arena for a 7:05 p.m. ET start.
The Sound Tigers have won eight consecutive games to propel themselves into fourth place in the Atlantic Division by virtue of their 54 standings points. Springfield sits in sixth in the division with 40 points. The Thunderbirds have dropped three in a row and saw their five-game point streak on the road come to an end on Friday in Providence.
After both teams killed off abbreviated, overlapping power play chances, the Bruins jumped to the initial lead as former Springfield Falcon Alex Grant wristed home his third goal against Springfield in six games to put Providence on top, 1-0, at 9:15.
The answer for Springfield, however, would be just as swift as the Grant opener. After Juho Lammikkoand Sena Acolatse teamed up to dig the puck off the far side wall, Mike Downing wasted little time flipping a bouncing shot from the left point. The dipping, bouncing puck escaped the reach of Bruins goaltender Malcolm Subban at 10:35 to tie the score, 1-1.
Much like Springfield did, the Bruins answered an opposing goal in short order, albeit amid some controversy. Tyler Randell fired a right wing shot on Reto Berra. While Berra made the first stop, the rebound sat in the slot area, where Noel Acciari screamed in to bat it toward the goal. Berra fell, the net became dislodged, but after replay review, the officials deemed the goal to count, giving the Bruins a 2-1 edge at 12:04, a lead they carried into the first intermission break. Providence outshot Springfield 10-7 in the first period.
Springfield successfully made it 20 straight penalties killed when they kept a Jared McCann slash from hurting them, but at full strength, the Bruins extended their lead. After catching up to a loose puck he lost off his blade, Jake DeBrusk found Danton Heinen from the left wing side, and as he crashed the slot, Heinen handled the pass and elevated a rising wrist shot over Berra’s blocker to put the Bruins ahead by two, 3-1.
The Thunderbirds would get no closer as the Bruins’ lock-down defense kept Springfield at bay; Subban had a relatively easy third period, finishing his night with 25 stops.
The Thunderbirds may receive the services of Paul Thompson for the first time since his recall by the Florida Panthers in in early December. Thompson led all Thunderbirds through the first 20 games with 15 points and six goals. He will look to aid a scuffling offense that has been held to two or fewer goals in five of the last six games.
Bridgeport has won four of the first seven contests in the season series against Springfield, with still four more games to go before the season's conclusion. Springfield's last home victory came against Bridgeport on Jan. 4 in a shootout.
The Thunderbirds are back on MassMutual Center ice on Friday, Feb. 10 as Ric Flair makes a visit to Springfield for "Throwback Night" with a piece of Flair. Flair's special appearance, presented by Big Y and Lia Auto Group. Additionally, the evening also marks Big Y Family Night, where Big Y Silver Savings Club Card holders can save $5 on tickets (NOTE: this offer cannot be combined with Ric Flair packages).
Interested in being part of the next era of AHL hockey in Springfield? Springfield Thunderbirds 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) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.