Ullmark, Amerks Blank T-BirdsMar 26, 2017
Rochester, NY- The Springfield Thunderbirds (27-29-9-2) had no answers offensively on Sunday in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Rochester Americans (27-37-0-2) at the Blue Cross Arena.
The Thunderbirds and Americans did not waste much time generating chances in the first period, and after not earning a power play all game on Friday, Springfield finally earned a pair of man advantages in the first.
However, it would be Rochester that took advantage in the special teams situation, and Derek Grant fired home a breakaway goal while shorthanded at 9:38 of the frame to give Rochester the 1-0 lead.
Springfield maintained offensive pressure, but workhorse Rochester goalie Linus Ullmark yielded nothing on 13 first period Thunderbirds shot attempts. His best stops came on a pair of tries by Anthony Greco,both made while sliding laterally in his crease.
Ullmark's defense did him many favors in the second period, as Springfield continued to earn power play chances, but the Thunderbirds could only manage eight shots on net in the second period despite the man advantage time.
At the other end, Adam Wilcox - who entered play 4-0-1 in his last five starts - continued to keep his team close, making 17 of 18 saves through 40 minutes, including some high-concentration saves from point blank range.
Wilcox's spectacular effort continued in third, with the Thunderbirds goalie finishing his night with 30 saves, including three glove-hand dazzlers in the final period.
In the end, though, it would not be enough, as Ullmark finished off his first shutout of the season with 28 total stops. Ullmark's first blanking comes on the same night he became the first AHL goalie this season to break the 3000 minutes played plateau.
With Springfield shorthanded in the final minutes, Nick Baptiste closed out the scoring into an empty net with less than 30 seconds to go.
The Thunderbirds are back on home ice at the MassMutual Center for Atlantic Division tangles with Bridgeport on Wednesday, March 29, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday, March 31, and Providence on Saturday, April 1. All games drop the puck at 7:05 p.m. ET.
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.