Berube, Phantoms Prevent T-Birds' Season Series Sweep
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (26-22-2-0) saw their offense go dry as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (20-22-1-5) salvaged a win out of the season series, 4-1, on Friday night inside the PPL Center.
Springfield was handed an early chance to jump to the lead, but the T-Birds power play could not take advantage of a pair of opportunities in the first 20 minutes. At the other end, Philippe Desrosiers made his third start against the Phantoms and picked up right where he left off from a T-Birds' record 62-save performance on Dec. 4 with 10 stops in the first.
Among Desrosiers' finest work in the opening frame was a patient odd-man save with the Phantoms threatening shorthanded in the closing minutes.
Desrosiers remained strong in the second, with 14 more shots reaching the Springfield netminder's crease. With two more power play chances, the T-Birds could not break their goose egg and, worse yet, Lehigh Valley connected while shorthanded when Reece Willcox saucered a puck into the crease area from the right circle that went past Kyle Criscuolo's waving stick and through Desrosiers at 11:16 to make it a 1-0 Phantoms lead.
The Phantoms continued to clamp it down in the third, and James de Haas jumped into a rush to punch a shot past Desrosiers on the blocker at 7:07 of the final period to make it 2-0. Kyle Criscuolo followed that up with a power play tally that tipped off a T-Birds defender before beating Desrosiers at 9:14.
Rodrigo Abols would break up the shutout bid by Berube at 18:40 with Desrosiers pulled to bring Springfield within a 3-1 score, but Mark Friedman added an empty-netter in the final minute to seal the Phantoms' first win over Springfield this season.
Springfield looks for its first win of the road trip on Saturday night as they face off in Hershey against the Bears at 7:00 p.m.
For more ticket information or to become a 2019-20 Springfield Thunderbirds ticket package member, or to purchase single game tickets, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.
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