Six-Goal Surge Propels T-Birds Past Bears
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - ?The Springfield Thunderbirds (17-12-5-3) rattled off five straight goals en route to a 6-2 win over the Hershey Bears (15-20-0-2) on Friday night at the MassMutual Center before a crowd of over 5,132.
Springfield once again would have to play from behind. After ?Ryan Horvat ?was called for tripping at the 3:19 mark, the Bears got on the board first 11 seconds later at the 3:30 mark when former Thunderbird Mike Sgarbossa tapped the puck home from the left circle on a cross-ice feed by Riley Barber.
At the 9:15 mark, the T-Birds tied it up when ?Riley Stillman? jumped up to a loose puck in front of the crease and wristed it past Hershey goaltender Vitek Vanecek to tie things, 1-1. Paul Thompson and Harry Zolnierczyk got the helpers on Stillman's second goal in three games as a forward.
Two minutes later, at the 11:23 mark, ?Anthony Greco ?jumped onto the ice off a change and took a drop pass from Bobby Farnham ?in the left circle. The T-Birds' newest All-Star turned and wristed a long-range bid through traffic and past Vanecek, giving the T-Birds a 2-1 lead. ?Chris Wideman?, playing in his first game as a Thunderbird and his first AHL game in almost four calendar years, picked up his first point in Springfield with the secondary assist.
At the 17:23 mark, the T-Birds kept the offensive onslaught going when ?Matt Marcinew? one-timed home his second AHL goal from the right circle, giving the T-Birds a 3-1 lead on the power play, with Wideman and Zolnierczyk picking up the assists.
After Shane Gersich was called for slashing at the 4:31 mark in the second period, the Thunderbirds power play continued the momentum when ?Sebastian Repo ?took a pass from Marcinew at the redline, deked around a Hershey defenseman and snapped a quick wrister past Vanecek from the right circle, making it 4-1 in favor of the T-Birds at 4:49 of the period.
The goal was the last shot Vanecek would face as he was swiftly replaced by Ilya Samsonov after allowing four goals on 18 shots through 24:49 of action.
With less than 6:30 to play in the period and with the Thunderbirds operating on another power play, Riley Barber moved into the Springfield zone on a clean breakaway, but ?Sam Montembeault ?stood tall and stopped two point-blank snap shot attempts to keep the score 4-1.
Nearly 10 minutes later at the 14:13 mark, the Thunderbirds power play struck for a third straight time when ?Matt Mangene? took a pass from ?Ludwig Bystrom? and wristed it over Samsonov's shoulder to give Springfield a 5-1 lead. ?Dryden Hunt ?picked? ?up the secondary helper.
At the 2:28 mark of the third, Hershey stopped the five-goal run as Juuso Ikonen picked up a rebound off a shot by Garrett Pilon and chipped it over Montembeault's shoulder, cutting Springfield's lead to 5-2.
That's as close as the Bears would get, as Springfield tapped home a fourth power play goal at 16:10. ? Zolnierczyk ?put the final nail on the Hershey coffin when he picked up a puck off the endboards following an initial shot by Wideman and slipped it past Samsonov. ?Jacob MacDonald ?picked up the other assist on the play.
Montembeault's superb performance broke a six-game losing slide for the T-Birds All-Star, as he finished with 29 saves on 31 shots.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about 2018-19 Thunderbirds 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 January 11, 2019
- Iowa Falls to San Antonio 3-1 - Iowa Wild
- Stars Win 4-3 in Overtime Thriller - Texas Stars
- Griffins Fall to Belleville in Shootout - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Wotherspoon scores overtime-winner as Bridgeport tops Utica in first of two meetings - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Crunch Edged by Monsters, 4-3, in Overtime - Syracuse Crunch
- Amerks Fall in First of Two with Marlies - Rochester Americans
- P-Bruins Open Weekend with 6-3 Win over Pack - Providence Bruins
- Palmquist Scores in First PPL Center Sellout of 2019 - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Penguins Take Down Checkers, 5-1 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Providence Bolts past Wolf Pack in Second - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Korostelev Nets Shootout Game-Winner as Monsters Stun Crunch, 4-3 - Cleveland Monsters
- Six-Goal Surge Propels T-Birds Past Bears - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Comets Drop Battle to Bridgeport in OT - Utica Comets
- Devils Win Third Straight in 2-1 Victory over Phantoms - Binghamton Devils
- Checkers Fall to Pens 5-1 - Charlotte Checkers
- T-Birds Score Five Unanswered, Drop Bears 6-2 - Hershey Bears
- Tampa Bay Lightning Acquire Defenseman Jan Rutta, Seventh Round Pick from Chicago Blackhawks - Syracuse Crunch
- Devils Sign Forward Doherty to PTO - Binghamton Devils
- Cleveland Monsters Announce Four Roster Moves - Cleveland Monsters
- Sabres Assign Smith to Rochester - Rochester Americans
- Game #33 Preview: Tucson vs. Chicago - Tucson Roadrunners
- Goloubef Joins Sens in Exchange for Carey - Belleville Senators
- Griffins Announce New Front Office Hires - Grand Rapids Griffins
- IceHogs Honor Rockford Heritage with Sock Monkey Night on February 9 - Rockford IceHogs
- Ottawa Recalls Elliott from Sens - Belleville Senators
- O'Connor Reassigned to Colorado Eagles - Colorado Eagles
- T-Birds Winger Anthony Greco Named to AHL All-Star Classic Roster - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Springfield's Greco Added to Roster for 2019 AHL All-Star Classic - AHL
- Marlies Set for Home and Home against Amerks - Toronto Marlies
- Sens Acquire Klimchuk from Toronto - Belleville Senators
- Sound Tigers Begin Second Half this Weekend - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Game Preview: Bears at Thunderbirds, 7:05 p.m. - Hershey Bears
- Game Day Build-Up: Senators at Griffins, January 11 - Belleville Senators
- Devils Sign Cormier to AHL Contract - Binghamton Devils
- Moose too Strong for Rocket - Manitoba Moose
- Rocket Fall 4-0 to Manitoba Moose - Laval Rocket
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
- Rocket Erase Deficit to Steal Victory from T-Birds on Sold out Pucks N' Paws Night
- Greco's 2nd Hat Trick of Year Powers T-Birds Past Devils
- T-Birds' Tenth 3-In-3 Weekend Begins Friday vs. Devils
- Thunderbirds Sign F Adam Rockwood to ATO
- Thunderbirds Sign F Brendan Robbins to ATO, Recall F Matt Marcinew from Manchester (ECHL)