Gaudette Extends Goal Streak, but Phantoms Edge T-BirdsOct 22, 2023
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- The Springfield Thunderbirds (1-4-0-0) made a feverish push late in regulation but ended up falling just short in a 3-2 loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (3-2-0-0) on Sunday afternoon at the PPL Center.
A quietly proceeding first period that saw just 12 shots on goal also featured the opening marker. It would be the Phantoms jumping to the 1-0 lead as Elliot Desnoyers deflected an Adam Ginning shot, squeaking it barely through the legs of Malcolm Subban, giving Lehigh Valley the 1-0 at 12:54 of the first.
Parker Gahagen did not have much work in the Phantom goal crease, as he turned away just five offerings from Springfield.
Like an evening ago, the T-Birds came out with a much stronger second-period effort, getting rewarded for it on a Dylan Coghlan one-timer that made its way through Gahagen at 13:52. The Carolina prospect's first goal as a T-Bird made it a 1-1 tie, with Calle Rosen and Matthew Peca getting credit for the helpers.
Springfield's power play could not solve its early struggles, failing to strike shortly after the tying marker by Coghlan, and moments later, Lehigh Valley restored its lead on a bad-luck bounce for Subban. Ronnie Attard, who assisted on the Desnoyers goal, rifled a hard one-timer on goal from the left side. Subban made the initial save, with the rebound lobbing high in the air. Rosen's attempt to swat the puck away came up empty, and instead, it glanced off Subban's arm and got over the line to give the Phantoms a 2-1 lead into the intermission at 17:10.
Penalty troubles continued to haunt Springfield into the third, and on the Phantoms' sixth advantage of the night, Olle Lycksell finally solved Subban for his fifth goal of the weekend at 9:41 of the third to make it 3-1.
To their credit, the T-Birds did not phone it in, and Adam Gaudette made a dash up the ice to beat Gahagen on a breakaway backhander with just 28 seconds to play to cut the deficit to 3-2. Like Lycksell, Gaudette is now tied for the AHL lead with five goals through the early season. Gaudette has also tallied goals in four consecutive games, one shy of a team record.
The T-Birds look to rebound on Friday at 7:00 p.m. when they visit the Hartford Wolf Pack in a rematch of Opening Night before returning home to the MassMutual Center on Saturday, October 28 for the annual Ok-T-Bird-Fest game against the Providence Bruins. The puck will drop at 7:05 p.m. at the Thunderdome.
Fans can reserve their seats to be a part of the Thunderbirds’ hockey action for the 2023-24 season by calling (413)-739-GOAL (4625) or visiting www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.