T-Birds Win Streak Halted in Bridgeport, 2-1Nov 19, 2017
Bridgeport, CT – The Springfield Thunderbirds (6-12-1-0) ran into a hot goaltender in a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (9-7-0-0) on Sunday at the Webster Bank Arena
The Thunderbirds had the far better start to the game, racing out offensively to pick up eight of the game's first nine shots. Springfield would also get three power play chances in the first period, including a 14-second stretch of 5-on-3 time, but Kristers Gudlevskis stopped every Thunderbird offering in the first period with 12 stops in total.
At the other end, Sam Montembeault had a much quieter first period than he saw in any of the three periods of his shutout win on Friday against Charlotte. Montembeault denied all five Bridgeport shots, and the Springfield penalty kill kept the Sound Tigers from getting any scoring chances on Springfield's lone penalty kill of the first period.
After the Thunderbirds carried the offensive in the first period, the Sound Tigers did just the same thing in the middle stanza, outshooting Springfield 12-8. Though the Bridgeport offense would again go quiet on a power play, the momentum swung far enough in the home team's direction to break the scoreless tie late in the second.
After playing a strong first 35 minutes in the neutral zone, the Thunderbirds finally sprung a leak, leading to a 2-on-1 attack for Bridgeport. Travis St. Denis held onto the puck long enough to draw a Springfield defender down to the ice before sliding a perfect cross-rink pass to Ross Johnston on the far post. The big man deflected it in behind Montembeault to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead for the 12th time in their 16 contests this season. The goal also broke up Montembeault's shutout streak at over 97 minutes.
Gudlevskis held up his end of the bargain for the Sound Tigers at the other end, denying eight more Thunderbirds shots to move to a perfect 20-for-20 through 40 minutes on save opportunities.
The Thunderbirds kept pounding Gudlevskis' net with shots in the third, but could not solve the Latvian netminder. Springfield then fell victim to a pair of slashing calls late in the period, which led to a Devon Toews 5-on-3 goal to give Bridgeport the insurance it would need.
Bobby Farnham broke up Gudlevskis' shutout bid with less than five seconds to play with a power play goal of his own, but it would not be enough. Montembeault was the hard-luck loser after stopping 25 of 27.
Springfield takes a longer road trip hike later this week with a visit to the Hershey Bears on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Giant Center in Pennsylvania. The Thunderbirds are next on home ice on Friday for a Black Friday tangle with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages start at just $12 per game, and Thunderbirds Full Season Ticket Members receive the most benefits, including a refillable collector’s mug and a commemorative jersey. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.