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 Springfield Thunderbirds

Gaudette Nets Two More, Keeps T-Birds' Playoff Hopes Alive

April 14, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Springfield Thunderbirds News Release

Springfield Thunderbirds react following a goal
Springfield Thunderbirds react following a goal
(Springfield Thunderbirds)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The Springfield Thunderbirds (30-35-3-2) snapped their six-game slide with a 4-2 comeback win over the Providence Bruins (40-20-6-3) on Sunday afternoon inside a sold-out MassMutual Center, the 19th such crowd this season.

The afternoon started rocky, as Patrick Brown connected on a forehander from the slot area on the day's first shot to give Providence a 1-0 lead 46 seconds into the contest.

T-Birds starting goaltender Colten Ellis put himself into a pickle at 9:24 of the first when he mishandled a puck to the side of his net. After a pair of Bruins dislodged it, the third man on the attack, rookie Jaxon Nelson, deked to the backhand to beat Ellis and give Providence a 2-0 advantage. It was Nelson's first professional goal.

Brandon Bussi drew the net for the Bruins, and after shutting out the T-Birds on March 10, he had his sights on duplicating the feat on Sunday, holding the T-Birds off the board past the midpoint of regulation.

With their backs against the wall, the T-Birds leaned on their Man of the Year to jumpstart the squad. Off a draw at 13:08 of the middle stanza, Drew Callin pushed past his opponent to hack a shot toward Bussi's crease. The normally stout netminder sprung a leak this time as the puck sneaked under his legs to get Springfield on the board, cutting the lead to 2-1.

Following matching minors and another penalty to the Bruins, Springfield's man advantage earned a 4-on-3 opportunity, and the AHL's leading goal scorer made his presence known as Adam Gaudette rifled a one-time snapper over Bussi's glove at 14:40, tying the score off a perfect cross-ice setup by Jakub Vrana.

Special teams proved paramount for Springfield, as the penalty kill went a perfect 5-for-5, including two clutch successes in the final period. Gaudette provided more heroics at 10:32 of the third when he skated in on the right wing on a 2-on-1 and blistered a wrist shot over Bussi's blocker to give the T-Birds a 3-2 lead on his 44th goal of the season. The two-goal day for Gaudette was his 12th such game this season.

With Providence clamoring for an equalizer in the final minute, Callin, rookie Dylan Peterson, and Keean Washkurak gutted out a defensive zone sequence to clear their end. Washkurak capped things off with an empty-netter from the red line to give the T-Birds the victory.

The T-Birds look to earn a second straight win over the Bruins when they travel to Providence for a rematch on Friday night at the Amica Mutual Pavilion at 7:05 p.m.

Fans can reserve seats for Thunderbirds' hockey action in the 2024-25 season with a ticket membership by calling (413)-739-GOAL (4625) or visiting

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Springfield Thunderbirds react following a goal
Springfield Thunderbirds react following a goal


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American Hockey League Stories from April 14, 2024

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