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Bruins' Spoil T-Birds' Throwback Night in Front of Sold out Crowd

January 15, 2022 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Springfield Thunderbirds News Release

Springfield Thunderbirds center Matthew Peca (right) faces off with the Providence Bruins
Springfield Thunderbirds center Matthew Peca (right) faces off with the Providence Bruins
(Springfield Thunderbirds)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (18-11-3-1) put together a valiant comeback try in the final period, but could not overcome the exploits of the visiting Providence Bruins (15-9-3-1) on Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 6,793 inside the MassMutual Center, as the Bruins emerged with a 5-3 win.

The Bruins, winners of three of their prior four games coming into play, saw their fourth line crack the scoresheet first as Matt Filipe beat Colten Ellis with a shot from the right circle at the 8:49 marker of the opening frame to make it a 1-0 lead for Providence.

Springfield earned a power-play chance to tie the game in the period, but Bruins goalie Troy Grosenick stood tall against nine T-Birds shots in the opening period, including a point-blank denial on Springfield leading scorer Matthew Peca.

The Bruins picked up right where they left off as the second period began, as Victor Berglund spotted Jack Studnicka at the far post, and the Providence centerman beat Ellis from in tight to make it 2-0 just 13 seconds into period two. Berglund added one of his own, slapping a power-play one-timer home at 4:42 to extend the lead to 3-0.

The temperature of the game between the two rivals rose immensely in the final period, spotlighted by a spirited scrap between Mackenzie MacEachern and Alex-Olivier Voyer. After the wild tussle, the Thunderbirds responded for their teammate and got on the board at the 11:35 mark as rookie Mitchell Balmas beat Grosenick from the slot to make it a 3-1 game. It was Balmas' first AHL goal.

Moments later, the Springfield power play had a chance to make it a one-goal game, and it appeared Tanner Kaspick was going to do just that, but a sprawling Bruins defense somehow kept the diving attempt from Kaspick out of the goal.

Providence killed the power play, and Steven Fogarty scored the eventual game-winner when he got one past Ellis from the right-wing circle off the rush at 15:29, making it a 4-1 score. Zach Senyshyn added an empty-netter at 15:55 to make the score 5-1.

Despite the score, the Thunderbirds did not quit all the way to the bitter end. Tyler Tucker picked up his second of the season off a nifty passing play from Matthew Peca and Sam Anas at 18:21. Nate Kallen added his first AHL goal himself at 19:09 to cut it to 5-3, but ultimately time would run out on Springfield's comeback bid.

The Thunderbirds hit the road next week for a two-game set in Charlotte against the Checkers, with 7:00 p.m. puck drops on Tuesday and Thursday night at Bojangles' Coliseum.

For more information on the Springfield Thunderbirds and to order tickets, please visit To learn more about becoming a Thunderbirds ticket member, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) to speak to a Thunderbirds representative.

Images from this story

Springfield Thunderbirds center Matthew Peca (right) faces off with the Providence Bruins
Springfield Thunderbirds center Matthew Peca (right) faces off with the Providence Bruins


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