T-Birds Await Two Atlantic Division Tests on Road
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (2-3-0-0) continue a five-game road trip this weekend with visits to the Hartford Wolf Pack (3-0-0-1) on Friday night at 7:15 p.m. at the XL Center and in Allentown, Pa. on Saturday for a 7:05 p.m. matchup with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (1-1-1-0) at the PPL Center.
The Thunderbirds will be looking to build off a 5-2 victory on Sunday in Providence against the Bruins, an afternoon that saw the Springfield power play awaken, going 2-for-4. Chris Driedger's strong start to the 2019-20 season continued, as the netminder made 33 saves on 35 shots to improve his season save percentage to .936 and his goals-against average to 2.26.
Philippe Desrosiers tended the goal crease in Springfield's 3-1 loss to Hartford last Saturday, but the first-year Thunderbird performed admirably, making 24 saves on 26 shots. Springfield's team defense ranks fifth-best in the AHL through its first five games, allowing just 2.40 goals per game. Only Toronto and Rochester have better ranks in the Eastern Conference.
The T-Birds will look for their first win in the season series against the Wolf Pack, who have jumped to the early lead in the Atlantic Division with seven points. First-year goaltender Igor Shesterkin needed to only make 17 saves in the Hartford win on Oct. 12. The Wolf Pack received goals from Nick Jones, Phil di Giuseppe, and Filip Chytil in the triumph. Hartford now holds a 10-7-0-0 record inside the XL Center against the Thunderbirds all-time.
When the Thunderbirds finish up action Friday, they continue down south for their first meeting with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. A season ago, the Thunderbirds rudely greeted the Phantoms with a 7-0 win on Oct. 12 behind five power play goals and a shutout performance from Sam Montembeault in net. Lehigh Valley responded with victories in four of the next five meetings with Springfield.
This year's Phantoms are off to a slower start, with just three points in three games and an 0-for-11 start to their season on the man advantage. Additionally, Lehigh Valley has allowed four power play goals on 13 opponents' power play chances. Rookie Joel Farabee has gotten off to a quick start for the Phantoms with goals in two of his first three professional games.
On the Springfield side, newcomer Ethan Prow holds the Thunderbirds' early-season scoring lead with a goal and four assists in his first five games. Jonathan Ang, Joel Lowry, Kevin Roy, and Ian McCoshen all have tallied four points thus far.
After this weekend's road swing, the Thunderbirds embark on another three-game weekend on Oct. 25-27 with a visit to Bridgeport on Friday (7:00 p.m.) before home tilts with Belleville on Saturday (7:05 p.m.) and Rochester on Sunday (5:05 p.m.).
For more ticket information or to become a 2019-20 Springfield Thunderbirds ticket package member, or to purchase single game tickets, 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 October 17, 2019
- Game #3 Preview: Tucson at Ontario - Tucson Roadrunners
- San Diego Gulls Launch All-Access Series Today on FOX 5 San Diego - San Diego Gulls
- San Diego Gulls to Celebrate Home Opener this Friday - San Diego Gulls
- Admirals Host Dog Day on Saturday - Milwaukee Admirals
- Skillet to Perform Post-Game January 24 - Milwaukee Admirals
- Griffins Announce Concession Deals for October Games - Grand Rapids Griffins
- P-Bruins Recall Kyle Keyser from ECHL's Atlanta Gladiators - Providence Bruins
- Jets Recall Nelson Nogier from Manitoba - Manitoba Moose
- San Jose Pro Eaters, Joey Chestnut and Matt Stonie, Faceoff at First-Ever Barracuda Waffle-Eating Challenge - San Jose Barracuda
- Morrison Reassigned to Fort Wayne - Ontario Reign
- Get Discounted Tickets, Win Dach Autographed Jersey Friday - Rockford IceHogs
- Roadrunners Recall Ryker Killins from Rapid City - Tucson Roadrunners
- New Menu Items Introduced for Roadrunners Games - Tucson Roadrunners
- Monsters Offer New Monthly Pass Subscription-Based Ticket Program - Cleveland Monsters
- Binghamton Hockey Hall of Fame Committee to Induct Hennessy, Robitaille, Jaworski - Binghamton Devils
- Pearson Assigned to Griffins - Grand Rapids Griffins
- T-Birds Await Two Atlantic Division Tests on Road - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Iowa Wild Community Rink Program Expands to Johnston, Urbandale - Iowa Wild
- Rocket Triumphant in 5-4 Shootout Win over the Providence Bruins - 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
- Florida Panthers Assign F Jayce Hawryluk to T-Birds on Conditioning Loan
- Florida Panthers Loan F Aleksi Saarela to Thunderbirds
- 4,887 Bears Hit the Ice for T-Birds' 4th Annual Teddy Bear Toss
- T-Birds' Strong Start Doesn't Hold up vs. Wolf Pack
- T-Birds Acquire D Rob O'Gara from San Antonio Rampage