Thunderbirds Host Bridgeport Wednesday NightMar 29, 2017
Springfield, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds (27-29-9-2) will welcome the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (39-24-3-1) for the 10th of 12 matchups between the Atlantic Division rivals on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. at the MassMutual Center.
The Thunderbirds are looking to snap a three-game slide after going 0-2-1-0 in the club's final three-game weekend from March 24-26 against Rochester and Toronto. Adam Wilcox was on the short end of the score in a pair of losses in Rochester, but the Thunderbirds goaltender has continued his stellar run in Springfield. Since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning organization on March 1, Wilcox has a 4-2-1-0 record, 1.87 goals against average, and .938 save percentage.
Wilcox has not allowed a goal on home ice since the third period of his first game as a Thunderbird on March 3 vs. Lehigh Valley. His last two home ice starts -- each on Sunday afternoons against Rochester and Albany on March 12 and March 19 -- have resulted in shutout performances of 26 and 34 saves respectively.
Despite being saddled with the loss in a 2-0 final on Sunday in Rochester, Wilcox was the star of the afternoon for the Thunderbirds, stopping 30 of 31 Rochester offerings, relenting only a breakaway goal to Derek Grant in the first period.
The offensive sticks went quiet for Springfield over the weekend road trip to Rochester and Toronto, scoring just twice in the final seven periods of the trip. Chase Balisy scored his team-high 40th point of the season with an assist on Jared McCann's power play goal late in the third period on Saturday in Toronto.
Springfield is hoping a return to home ice will bring a return to winning ways. The Thunderbirds are 7-1-0-0 in their last eight games inside the MassMutual Center dating back to Feb. 17.
Bridgeport, meanwhile, is fighting for its playoff life. Entering play on Wednesday, the Sound Tigers sit five points back of the Hershey Bears for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division while also holding a game in hand on Hershey.
The Sound Tigers have picked a poor time to suffer losses in six of their last ten contests. Away from the Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport has had an inconsistent year, going 16-12-3-1 away from their home ice. The Sound Tigers have, however, won three of the four matchups against Springfield at the MassMutual Center.
Bridgeport has been trying to replace the void left by Jaroslav Halak's recall to the New York Islanders. The veteran goaltender helped turn the Sound Tigers' season around by going 17-7-2-1 with a 2.15 goals against average and .925 save percentage in Bridgeport.
The Thunderbirds are back on MassMutual Center ice for a pair of promotional extravaganzas on Friday and Saturday for Pucks N' Paws night vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on March 31 and Boomer's Bash/Bobblehead Night on April 1.
Interested in being part of the next era of AHL hockey in Springfield? Springfield Thunderbirds 2017-18 Ticket Memberships 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.