Thunderbirds Demonized by Appleby, Devils Despite Late PushOct 28, 2017
Binghamton, NY - The Springfield Thunderbirds (1-8-1-0) offense could not warm up in quite enough time on Saturday, falling in a wild 2-1 finish to the Binghamton Devils (4-2-1-0) at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton.
A physical first period would not yield anything except bumps and bruises in the opening 20 minutes. Springfield had parts of two power plays go unsuccessfully, while the Devils could not strike on their first attempt while canceling out their own power play on a slashing minor in the first minute of man advantage time.
At the other end, Ken Appleby made his first start of the season for Binghamton, but the Thunderbirds could not defeat him despite a couple of point blank chances, including a brilliant stop on an Anthony Greco forehand deke from just outside the crease.
Harri Sateri stopped each of the last 12 shots he saw in relief in the third period of Friday's game for Springfield, and he picked up where he left off in the first, stopping all eight Devils shots in the first.
A tentative first gave way to an even more tentatively played second period, a frame that saw only eight shots on goal between the two clubs. Despite the lack of offensive potency, the scoreless tie would be broken by the Devils. After a Thunderbirds turnover in center, Blake Pietila moved in on the left wing with a 2-on-1 attack. After freezing Sateri with a subtle stick fake, he hit the trailing Nick Lappin, who beat Sateri over the glove to put Binghamton ahead 1-0 at 3:40.
A power play for each side both ended with limited offense, and the game went to the third in the same 1-0 fashion.
Early in the third, the Devils would pick up insurance on Brandon Baddock's first AHL goal, a right-wing circle offering that eluded Sateri to make it 2-0.
With the game seemingly in the bag, the Devils nearly self-inflicted the worst possible harm when Jan Mandat was given a game misconduct and major penalty for boarding Maxim Mamin with less than four minutes to play. Springfield reacted quickly, with Anthony Greco burying a loose puck in the paint to make it a 2-1 game with 2:55 to go.
However, Appleby, who picked up the win with 28 saves in his first AHL start of the season, held down the fort in front of the busy Binghamton late, stopping 15 of 16 shots in the third period alone.
The Thunderbirds will have another three-game, three-night weekend on the slate next week, beginning with a Friday night home matchup against the Hartford Wolf Pack for Willie O'Ree Night on November 3 at 7:05 p.m. ET. It will double as a 3-2-1 Friday with concession deals through the end of the first period.
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.