Second Period Comeback Secures Point for T-Birds
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (12-7-3-1) saw their two-game win streak snapped as they fell in overtime to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (13-6-0-2) by a final score of 5-4 on Sunday afternoon at the MassMutual Center.
At the 3:34 point in the first period, the Sound Tigers took a 1-0 lead on their first shot of the game by Otto Koivula who took a toe drag wrist shot from the blue line and scored unassisted. The shot was redirected off of Thunderbirds defenseman Riley Stillman and into the back of the ne behind Chris Driedger.
Nine minutes into the period, Bridgeport tacked on another to make it 2-0. Parker Wotherspoon slapped a shot in on Driedger from center ice. Driedger kicked a rebound out to Tanner Fritz, who finished the play to give Bridgeport the two-goal edge.
After the second goal and only nine minutes of action, Geordie Kinnear removed Chris Driedger in favor of Sam Montembeault.
42 seconds after Bridgeport's Travis St. Denis was called for roughing, the T-Birds marched into the Bridgeport zone and were initially stopped, but on their second chance at the 12:05 mark, Jayce Hawryluk dug the puck out of a sea of bodies and wristed it into the back of the net to cut the lead in half, 2-1.The goal also extended Hawryluk's point streak to four games.
2:36 later, Bridgeport scored its third goal of the period on a right point slapper by Yannick Rathgeb, who beat Montembeault over his short side shoulder.
Despite being held to just one goal in the first period, the T-Birds special teams played well, going 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and 1-for-2 on the power play. They also were able to tally 10 shots on goal.
49 seconds into the second period, Koivula tapped home a one-time feed from Josh Ho Sang from point blank range, making it 4-1 less than a minute into the second. That would be all for the Sound Tigers in the second period, however, as the Thunderbirds scored three unanswered goals and eventually knotted the score at 4-4.
The physicality also picked up in the second period with both teams being tabbed for a combined 20 minutes' worth of infractions.
Thomas Schemitsch started the Springfield comeback with a wrister from the right point that eluded Bridgeport goalie Jeremy Smith. Hawryluk and Sebastian Repo picked up assists.
Nearly halfway into the period and operating on another power play, the Thunderbirds got another one back as Blaine Byron snuck one past Smith from the right side at short range to cut the Sound Tigers lead to 4-3.
With 37 seconds to play in the period, Repo tied the game, 4-4, after redirecting a rocket slapper from Riley Stillman at the point. Hawryluk picked up a helper on the play, giving him three points in the game and seven in his last four contests.
In the final period, both teams were held scoreless despite back-and-forth action - Montembeault finished his relief appearance in regulation with 22 saves..
After the Thunderbirds got the first rush in overtime but failed to seal the game, Bridgeport's Josh Ho Sang marched into the Springfield zone and beat Montembeault on a breakaway double move, giving the Sound Tigers a 5-4 victory. It was Bridgeport's first win at the MassMutual Center since March 29, 2017.
Montembeault finished with 23 saves on 26 shots in the losing effort.
Following four days off from games, the Thunderbirds travel make their first trip to New York to take on the Utica Comets on Friday, Dec. 7 with puck drop at 7:00 p.m.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about 2018-19 Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages include a wide range of benefits, including the lowest prices for the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from December 2, 2018
- Lankinen, Sikura Propel Rockford Past Ramage - Rockford IceHogs
- Reign Win in OT - Ontario Reign
- Tucson's Resolve Topped Late in 5-4 Overtime Loss - Tucson Roadrunners
- Bears Win Big on Record Setting Teddy Bear Toss Night - Hershey Bears
- Sikura, IceHogs Top Rampage in Overtime - San Antonio Rampage
- Devils Halted in Hershey, 6-3 - Binghamton Devils
- Stars Outshine Wolves - Chicago Wolves
- Koivula scores twice and Ho-Sang nets the overtime-winner in Bridgeport's victory - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Hershey Bears Break Teddy Bear Toss World Record - Hershey Bears
- Checkers Stun P-Bruins in OT 3-2 - Providence Bruins
- Poturalski OT Winner Caps Comeback Win over Bruins - Charlotte Checkers
- Second Period Comeback Secures Point for T-Birds - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Marlies Face Phantoms in Sunday Matinee - Toronto Marlies
- Rangers Recall Matt Beleskey from Hartford, Assign Tim Gettinger - Hartford Wolf Pack
- American Hockey League Announces Suspensions - AHL
- Tampa Bay Lightning Recall Eddie Pasquale, Reassign Connor Ingram to Syracuse Crunch - Syracuse Crunch
- Game #19 Preview: Tucson at Ontario - Tucson Roadrunners
- Game Preview: Devils at Bears, 5 p.m. - Hershey Bears
- Starrett Stonewalls Moose in 4-0 Shutout - Bakersfield Condors
- Moose Quiet in 4-0 Loss at Bakersfield - Manitoba Moose
- Barracuda Use Big First to Top Heat, 6-4 - San Jose Barracuda
- Rockford Offense Sputters as Ads Blank Hogs - Rockford IceHogs
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Springfield Thunderbirds Stories
- T-Birds Cap 2018-19 Season with Explosive 6-1 Win in Providence
- Greco Becomes First 30-Goal Scorer in T-Birds History in Sold out Finale
- Sold out MassMutual Center Sees T-Birds Stomp Sound Tigers, 7-2
- Thunderbirds Close 2018-19 Season with Three-Game Weekend
- T-Birds to Honor American International College Men's Hockey Team on Friday, April 12