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Valk Scores, But T-Birds Fall Again

Oct 21, 2017
Syracuse, N.Y. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (0-6-0-0) again saw its offense run dry in a 4-1 loss to the Syracuse Crunch (2-4-1-0) on Saturday at the War Memorial Arena.
 
The Crunch and Thunderbirds entered play having plenty of struggles scoring in the opening period. Syracuse had tallied only three first period goals in its first six games, while Springfield only managed two first period goals in their first five contests.
 
Springfield had another early power play chance go by the wayside after Kevin Lynch took an early minor penalty. The first period saw only 13 shots between the two teams, but Syracuse would get the elusive first goal at 17:45. Veteran Cory Conacher pilfered the puck away from the Springfield defense on the left side, circled the goal, and then found Tye McGinn on the back post. McGinn tapped home the beautiful dish and Syracuse had just its second opening goal in seven games.
 
With a 1-0 lead after the first, Syracuse, whose power play also had plenty of struggles in the season’s first few weeks, got its first chance in period two, but like the Thunderbirds, the Crunch power play stalled.
 
Syracuse would get an insurance marker anyway, though, as Jason Akeson picked up a bank pass to center from Adam Erne, picked up a trailer on a 2-on-1 rush, and then patiently slid a shot through the five-hole of Sam Montembeault at 14:44 to extend the Syracuse lead to 2-0 after 40 minutes.
 
At the other end, Connor Ingram had a smooth sailing start to the game, seeing just 12 shots through the first two periods after he made 19 saves on 20 shots in relief of Michael Leighton on Friday night.
 
Syracuse got some extra insurance on a Michael Bournival goal less than four minutes into the third to extend the lead to 3-0. In the losing effort, Curtis Valk broke up the shutout with a power play goal less than two minutes later, his first tally as a Thunderbird. The newcomer now has a point in five straight games.
 
It would be too little, too late on this night though, as Bournival would add an empty netter in the final seconds to seal the game. Evan Cowley also got his first AHL action, relieving Montembeault early in the third. The rookie made three saves on three shots in his first game. Montembeault's night came to a close after he made 19 saves on 22 shots.
 
Following the road visit to upstate New York, the Thunderbirds return home on Sunday for a Friendly's Sundae Funday matinee against the Belleville Senators at 3:05 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 visitwww.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.
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