T-BIRDS VISIT SYRACUSE, PROVIDENCE TO CONCLUDE 1ST HALFJan 25, 2019
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (20-14-6-4), winners of two straight road contests in Hartford, will look to continue their good fortunes away from home as they visit the Syracuse Crunch (23-13-2-1) on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. and the Providence Bruins (20-16-6-1) on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.
Coming off a 7-4 win behind four goals from captain Paul Thompson on Wednesday in Hartford, the Thunderbirds visit the Crunch looking for their first win inside the War Memorial Arena since March of 2017. The T-Birds are 1-1-1-0 thus far in the season series, with Syracuse picking up a 4-3 overtime win in the clubs' last meeting on Dec. 29 in New York. Andy Andreoff tallied the overtime winner that night for Syracuse, while Bobby Farnham, Matt Mangene, and Thompson got the goals for the Thunderbirds.
The Crunch enter Friday night's contest winners of their last two games but losers of six of their last ten games. They came away with a 2-1 win on Monday in a rescheduled game against Binghamton. Martin Ouellette started in net for Syracuse and stopped 19 shots after Eddie Pasquale had been the goaltender of record in each of the Crunch's prior 12 games.
With his four goals on Wednesday, Thompson now sits in a tie for second in the entire AHL with 22 goals this season. He became just the fifth Thunderbird player in team history to record 20 goals in a single season, joining Anthony Greco, Dryden Hunt, Curtis Valk and Alex Grenier. It is also the fourth different 20-goal campaign in the captain's career.
Springfield concludes its pre-All-Star break schedule on Saturday in Providence for their eighth meeting against their division rivals and third straight inside the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence. Each of the previous two games needed extra time, with Springfield coming away with a 3-2 win on Jan. 13 thanks to Hunt's buzzer-beating overtime goal, and Providence coming away with a 2-1 shootout triumph on Jan. 18.
The Thunderbirds begin this final weekend of the unofficial first half sitting in a playoff position in the Atlantic division. Furthermore, with a game in hand on second place Bridgeport, the Thunderbirds sit just two points out of second place in the division coming into the weekend action. Bridgeport has Friday off before hosting third-place Lehigh Valley on Saturday night. The Phantoms, who sit a single point ahead of the Thunderbirds, host Laval tonight before heading to Bridgeport tomorrow.
Limited tickets remain for the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield. The activities begin on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. with the AHL All-Star Skills Competition. For tickets, visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com/AllStar.