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.