Wilcox Wonderful in 2-0 Shutout WinMar 12, 2017
Springfield, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds (25-26-8-2) finished off another three-game weekend sweep in a 2-0 defeat of the Rochester Americans (24-34-0-2) on Sunday afternoon at the MassMutual Center.
The Thunderbirds and Americans pushed the pace early on in a first period that was played at mostly 5-on-5. Adam Wilcox and Linus Ullmark had many of the answers in net for their respective teams as the game opened up near the midway point of the frame.
Armed with the game's first power play, Springfield jumped to the lead courtesy of their hottest goal scorer of late. With Kyle Rau ragging the puck in the right wing, he turned his body to throw a perfect centering pass to Anthony Greco, who one-timed the feed past Ullmark to give the Thunderbirds the 1-0 edge at 11:15. The goal was Greco's first on the man advantage this season and fourth in the last three games.
Rochester threatened late in the period with a power play of its own, but Wilcox and the penalty kill fended off the chances, including a flashy glove save by the Springfield goalie off a long-range slap shot. Rochester registered nine shots in the period, but they were unable to pierce WIlcox.
Both teams enjoyed some more power play chances in the second period, but the man advantage units could not find success through a scoreless middle stanza. Wilcox made seven more saves to bring his two-period total to 16, while Ullmark was busier, making nine stops, including point-blank testers from both Rau and Paul Thompson.
Early in the third, the Americans looked dangerous at the tail end of a power play, but Wilcox came up with his best save, sliding to his left to deny Tim Kennedy on the doorstep to keep Springfield's lead safe at 1-0.
Moments later, Thompson joined Greco in the four-goal club for the weekend. After Ian McCoshen glove down the dump-in attempt, he saw Thompson and Dryden Hunt in the neutral zone in an odd-man rush. Hunt took a shot from the left circle that hit Ullmark, but the rebound sat right in the paint, where Thompson finished it off to close the scoring.
Wilcox turned aside the remaining chances to pick up his first shutout as a Thunderbird and second of the season overall. The Thunderbirds have now won three in a row, outscoring their opponents by a margin of 10-4.
Springfield begins yet another three-in-three on Friday night when they visit the Albany Devils for a 7:05 p.m. ET puck drop at the Times Union Center.
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.