T-Birds, Sound Tigers Meet for Second Time in Seven Days

Jan 4, 2017

Springfield, MA - The Springfield Thunderbirds (12-12-4-2) will begin a busy month of January on Wednesday when they host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (17-14-0-0) for a 7:05 p.m. ET puck drop at the MassMutual Center.

The Thunderbirds, winners of  three games in a row on home ice, will play nine of the next 14 contests inside their home arena in Springfield. They are coming off of a 3-2 win on Friday night in front of a packed house of nearly 6,000 at the MassMutual Center. Mike McKenna picked up his fifth win of the season and second against the Hartford Wolf Pack. 

Offensively, Anthony Greco (goal, assist) paced Springfield, while Jared McCann tallied the eventual game-winner on a feed from Greco in the final period. Springfield and Bridgeport have already met on five occasions this season, with the Thunderbirds holding a 2-2-1-0 record against the Sound Tigers.

Bridgeport became the first team in the season series to win a game on home ice on Dec. 28 at the Webster Bank Arena, but it did not come easy. Down 3-1 to start the third, the Thunderbirds scored three of the next four goals to force overtime before Travis St. Denis gave Bridgeport its eighth consecutive OT win without a loss. The Sound Tigers remain the only AHL team to have not lost a game past 60 minutes this season. 

The Thunderbirds have one new addition to their roster heading into play this week, as the Florida Panthers announced the assignment of defenseman Dylan McIlrath to the Thunderbirds on a conditioning assignment Wednesday morning. The 6-foot-5, 236-pound defenseman has played in 186 AHL games, all as a member of the New York Rangers' affiliates, the Connecticut Whale and Hartford Wolf Pack.

Springfield may receive even more reinforcements back in their lineup tonight. Following the returns ofMacKenzie Weegar on Dec. 27, Brent Regner on Dec. 28, and Brody Sutter on Dec. 30, the Thunderbirds are potentially expecting the return of Jayce Hawryluk on Wednesday night. 

It was against the same Sound Tigers in Springfield on Dec. 2 that Hawryluk was the victim of an illegal check to the head by Bridgeport's Connor Jones. Jones was suspended four games for the check, which knocked Hawryluk out of his first professional game and has caused him to miss the last 11 games. 

Tickets for the T-Birds' first Winning Weekday tonight are available by visitingwww.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com or by calling (413) 739-GOAL. Should the Thunderbirds win that night, fans in attendance will receive a complimentary ticket to the next weekday game on Weds., Jan. 11 vs. Albany. 

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.

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