T-Birds Look to Close Season Series against Comets with Win in Utica
UTICA, N.Y. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (26-25-7-5) continue their weeklong road trip on Friday night with a matchup against the Utica Comets (30-26-5-2) inside the Adirondack Bank Center at 7:00 p.m.
The Thunderbirds seek their first victory in the season series over the Comets, who came away with one-goal victories in each of the last two meetings on Feb. 2 (4-3 @ Springfield) and Dec. 21 (2-1 @ Springfield). In the lone other matchup this season in Utica, the Comets came away the 5-2 victors.
Springfield, despite the loss in Hershey on Wednesday, still sits seven points out of a playoff spot, while the Comets have fallen to fifth place in the North Division with 67 points, two behind the fourth-place Belleville Senators. The Comets have slipped out of playoff contention by virtue of just two victories in their last ten contests.
In the Thunderbirds' 5-3 defeat Wednesday in Hershey, Jean-Sebastien Dea extended his point streak to seven games to tie three other T-Birds for the longest such streak of the 2018-19 season. Dea has a chance to equal Shane Harper's club record if he records a point on Friday night. Dea's point streak is the longest by any player to start his Springfield Thunderbirds career. He scored the second of three Springfield goals on Wednesday.
Sebastian Repo and Bobby Farnham each also tallied for the Thunderbirds, and Farnham's breakaway goal in the final period was the veteran winger's first since Dec. 29.
In net, Chris Driedger took a loss for just the third time in his last eight starts, making 26 stops in Hershey. His 2.63 goals against average now has him in the top-20 among AHL goaltenders in that category, while his .919 save percentage is tied for fifth-best among qualified goalies in the AHL.
The T-Birds pattern of games every other day will continue after Friday night's affair in Utica, as Springfield returns to the Atlantic Division in a St. Patrick's Day visit to Bridgeport on Sunday at 5:00 p.m.
The Thunderbirds' next home game is set for Friday, March 22 against the Binghamton Devils on another 3-2-1 Friday inside the MassMutual Center, followed by the 3rd annual Pucks N' Paws night on Saturday, March 23 against Laval.
Springfield Thunderbirds 2019-2020 ticket memberships are on sale now and include the best benefits of being a Thunderbirds ticket holder. To learn more about memberships and single game tickets, visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com or call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
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