Wilcox's 2nd Straight Home Shutout Downs DevilsMar 19, 2017
Springfield, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds (27-27-8-2) got another perfect performance from their goaltender in a 3-0 win on Sunday over the Albany Devils (34-26-2-2) at the MassMutual Center.
The Thunderbirds and Devils once again would not find goals easy to come by in the opening period. MacKenzie Blackwood and Adam Wilcox rematched in the nets, and neither goaltender yielded anything in the first period, with Blackwood logging 11 saves and Wilcox denying 14.
The best play of the period came courtesy of Wilcox, who lurched to his right to make an athletic blocker and stick save off a rebound on Jan Mandat late in the period to keep the game scoreless heading into the second period.
An unlikely source brought an end to the stalemate just 5:17 into the second period for Springfield. AfterKyle Rau attempted to stuff wraparound shot past Blackwood, the puck caromed to the left wing circle forEddie Wittchow, who snapped home his first professional goal from his defense position to give the Thunderbirds the 1-0 edge. Anthony Greco also was credited for an assist on Wittchow's first pro goal.
Wilcox continued to make things look simple at the other end, stopping another seven Albany shots to make it 21-of-21 through two periods. Albany had a chance to tie the score on the game's first power play, which leaked into the start of the third period. However, it was Springfield that would take advantage of the game's first special teams situation.
After firing a shot off of Blackwood, Greco tracked his own miss, stole the puck along the left wing wall, cut to the slot and beat Blackwood back against the grain to the stick side to put Springfield ahead 2-0 just 1:13 into the final period.
The Devils would not ever get closer, as Greco sealed the deal with his second of the night and 13th of the season into an empty net with 47 seconds to play.
Wilcox locked up his second consecutive home ice shutout and fourth consecutive win overall. In his last four wins, the 24-year-old netminder has allowed just three goals on his last 119 shots faced, good for a .975 save percentage.
After another sparkling matinee performance on Sunday, the Thunderbirds have one final three-game weekend beginning on Friday, March 24 in Rochester. The Thunderbirds will play the Americans on Friday and Sunday, while stopping over in Toronto on Saturday to face the Marlies.
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.