T-Birds' Touchdown Downs Bridgeport, 7-0Apr 14, 2017
Springfield, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds (31-33-9-2) scored early, often and repeatedly in a 7-0 stomping of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (44-27-3-1) at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.
The explosion began early as the Thunderbirds lit the lamp on the game's first power play just 4:24 into the night as Jared McCann finished off a feed from MacKenzie Weegar to beat Eamon McAdam.
Goaltender Adam Wilcox was tested early and came up huge to make 13 first period saves. His offense gave him some added insurance at 18:03 of the first as Jayce Hawryluk dropped the puck to Chase Balisy for a goal to push the lead to 2-0 on Balisy's 17th of the season.
With a 2-0 lead to start the second, the Thunderbirds did the exact opposite of sit on the lead, instead unleashing fury on the Bridgeport goal. McCann's second power play goal of the night came just 1:29 into the second to up the lead to 3-0.
McCann then completed the first home-ice hat trick in Thunderbirds history and second overall when he uncorked a bomb at 5:35 past McAdam, ending the Bridgeport goaltender's night. It was McCann's 10th goal of the campaign.
Stephon Williams relieved McAdam, but the Sound Tigers goaltender felt a similar fate. Just 27 seconds into his night, Anthony Greco fired a left-point flip shot that bound its way home to make it a 5-0 game.
The barrage did not stop, as moments later Dryden Hunt stepped out of the box after serving a penalty, accelerated in on Williams and rifled a wrist shot home to make it a 6-0 score at 8:57.
Needing an extra point to add to the touchdown, Matt Buckles picked up a rebound to the right of Williams and snapped it into the top shelf to put Springfield ahead 7-0, with every goal in the explosion coming just past the halfway point of regulation.
The Sound Tigers and Thunderbirds played the third period to a scoreless draw to wind down the scoring. Wilcox's 28 saves marked his third home-ice shutout out of his six total wins with the Thunderbirds.
The Thunderbirds' 2016-17 season comes to a close on Saturday in a matchup against the Hartford Wolf Pack at the MassMutual Center at 7:05 p.m. ET. The day begins with a Block Party at Court Square from 4-6 p.m. ET, featuring music from the band Fat, food and drink. It will also mark the conclusion of a giveaway-filled 48 hours on MGM Springfield Fan Appreciation Weekend.
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.