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 Springfield Thunderbirds

Gaudette Ties T-Birds' Single-Season Goal Record

March 1, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Springfield Thunderbirds News Release


PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Springfield Thunderbirds (24-23-3-2) battled hard without many key forwards in the lineup, but could not hold off the Providence Bruins (34-15-3-2) in a 4-2 contest on Friday night at Amica Mutual Pavilion.

The T-Birds played a responsible defensive opening period on the road on a night that saw them missing five forwards due to injuries and a suspension to Jakub Vrana. The penalty kill came up big on the Bruins' first man advantage, denying Providence a 12th power play marker in the season series.

Chances were hard to come by, but Providence tough guy rookie Trevor Kuntar was rewarded for a simple play at 14:14. Driving in on the left-wing side, he took a high shot on the short side of Springfield goalie Malcolm Subban. Though he made the initial save, Subban could not locate the rebound, which fell behind him in the blue paint, and before he could recover, Kuntar crashed the crease and tapped it over the goal line to make it a 1-0 game.

Springfield drew its first power play chance in the final minute, but Bruins starter Michael DiPietro protected the cage to keep his 1-0 lead in tow heading to the second.

Though the T-Birds power play could not capitalize on any of their three opportunities in the middle period, Adam Gaudette made T-Birds history at 5-on-5, becoming the third player in team history to hit 30 goals in a single season and tying the club record for goals in a season when he tapped home a Hunter Skinner rebound past DiPietro at 10:23 of the second. Gaudette also became the first player in the AHL this season to reach the 30-goal plateau.

The level score only held for 5:03 before Kuntar again used his skill to restore his club's lead. After Joey Abate knocked down a Springfield clearing attempt, he slipped a feed to Kuntar near the right circle. Kuntar again aimed high on the short side of Subban, using an Abate screen to fire this one straight home to make it a 2-1 game at 15:26.

The T-Birds ground out an equalizer just 2:40 into the third when Tanner Dickinson crashed the blue paint to finish off a pass from Mikhail Abramov, bringing the score even at 2-2. It was Dickinson's second goal in his first three games as a T-Bird.

Unfortunately for the visitors, the tie score again would not stay that way for long. John Beecher picked up a loose puck in the left-wing circle and elevated a quick-rising wrist shot over Subban's glove to make it 3-2 for the Bruins just 1:23 after the Dickinson goal.

2:13 later, Beecher fired the insurance marker as well, rifling another forehander into the top shelf off a faceoff win by Patrick Brown, and in just under four minutes, the game went from 2-2 to 4-2.

The T-Birds, despite their valiant efforts without a handful of their key forwards, could not muster up another comeback, and Providence finished off its sixth straight win over Springfield.

The T-Birds return home on Saturday as they host the Laval Rocket at 7:05 p.m. at the MassMutual Center for the first of two straight home games to close the weekend.

Fans can reserve seats for Thunderbirds hockey action throughout the 2023-24 season by calling (413)-739-GOAL (4625) or visiting www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.

-- SPRINGFIELD THUNDERBIRDS -


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