T-Birds Unable to Climb Back vs. BruinsJan 12, 2020
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Springfield Thunderbirds (21-18-2-0) battled back to within one goal twice, but could not get back from early hole, falling by a final score of 5-3 against the Providence Bruins (22-15-1-2) on Sunday inside the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
For a second straight evening, the Bruins would jump to the lead quickly. Providence began its afternoon with a sturdy kill of a Springfield power play in the opening minutes, and just 23 seconds later, at the 2:52 mark, Brendan Woods cashed in on a one-time feed from Karson Kuhlman in the right circle to make it a 1-0 Bruins lead.
Providence dominated the first period form a shot perspective, outnumbering the T-Birds 16-4 on the shot board in the opening 20 minutes. Despite 14 saves from Philippe Desrosiers, the Bruins would find another tally on a power play late in the period. Moments after a 4-on-3 power play concluded, but with 5-on-4 action continuing, Brendan Gaunce fired a high shot that ricocheted off Desrosiers and down to the feet of Peter Cehlarik, who chipped the loose puck into the top shelf at 16:58 to extend the lead to 2-0.
It appeared that the T-Birds would be able to cut the lead in half in the opening minute of the second period with Henrik Borgstrom alone in front of the net, but Max Lagace somehow lifted his right leg despite being down on the ice to turn away the Springfield centerman.
15 minutes came and went with the 2-0 score going unchanged, but Owen Tippett would finally get the T-Birds back within a single tally as he curled the puck and ripped a wrister to the top of the net past Lagace at the 15:08 mark to make it a 2-1 game.
The one-goal deficit would not last long, though, as Paul Carey pulled a puck off the right-wing corner boards and fired a shot from the right circle that tipped off Kuhlman and past Desrosiers to make it a 3-1 game into the second intermission.
Springfield would have another early power play chance in the third, but before they could strike, Anton Blidh drew a penalty shot and then beat Desrosiers at the 2:09 mark to make it 4-1. Ethan Prow would respond at 3:02 with a wrister from the right side to give the T-Birds their second power play goal to cut the lead back to 4-2.
Ryan Haggerty made things even a little more interesting at 13:30, taking advantage of a fanned shot by Thomas Schemitsch at the right side of the net to shuffle it past Lagace to get Springfield back to within one goal again at 4-3.
Only 29 seconds would pass, however, before the Bruins would again respond in a hurry. Woods completed the scoring on a 2-on-1 rush, cashing in on his own rebound past Desrosiers to give Providence the 5-3 victory. Desrosiers stopped 38 of 43 in defeat, while Lagace stopped 21 of 24 to improve to 2-0-1 against the Thunderbirds this season.
The Thunderbirds continue a road swing on Friday night as they visit the Syracuse Crunch for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop.