T-Birds Look to Cool off Bears Wednesday Night
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - ?The Springfield Thunderbirds (21-17-6-4) complete a three-game homestand on Wednesday night as they host the Hershey Bears (23-20-0-3) for a 7:05 p.m. start time inside the MassMutual Center.
The Thunderbirds have won three out of the first four matchups with the Bears in the 2018-19 season after going just 3-8-1-0 in the prior two seasons against their divisional opponent. Hershey, however, enters Springfield playing their best hockey of the season, going 8-0-0-1 in their last nine contests, including victories in each of their last three games.
Former Thunderbird Mike Sgarbossa has paced the Hershey attack with 21 goals and 39 points thus far in 2018-19. Riley Barber is close behind with 18 goals and 38 points. All-Star netminder Vitek Vanecek has won each of his last three starts, and has held each of his last two opponents to just two goals in each game. However, the Bears' third-year goaltender has struggled against Springfield this season, going 0-2 with a goals against average of 5.67 and a save percentage of .818.
Springfield is coming off a 4-3 defeat on Saturday at the hands of the Utica Comets. After falling behind 3-0 in the opening minutes, the Thunderbirds made a game of it by scoring three of the game's final four goals. Springfield's top-ranked power play broke out of a 1-for-19 funk by scoring twice on the man advantage in the third period. Jacob MacDonald scored in his second consecutive game, and Jamie McGinn scored in his first game with Springfield.
After Sam Montembeault was pulled in the game's opening 3:16, Chris Driedger provided a stellar relief effort, turning away 23 of 24 shots to allow Springfield to get back into the game.
Thunderbirds All-Star Anthony Greco has tormented Hershey in the season series, scoring five times in four games against the Bears this year. The AHL's fastest skater has 18 goals thus far in 2018-19 and leads the Thunderbirds all-time with 63 tallies.
After Wednesday's home ice tangle, the Thunderbirds take to the road for one of their longer treks of the season. They visit the Rochester Americans on Friday for a 7:05 p.m. matchup before crossing the border for a battle with the defending Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
?For tickets and more information about Springfield Thunderbirds tickets or ticket packages, visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com or call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from February 6, 2019
- Free Pizza, Dog Days Promo Set for Wednesday Showdown with Pens - Rockford IceHogs
- Amerks Earn Point in 2-1 Shootout Loss to Crunch - Rochester Americans
- Admirals Get Shutout by Stars - Milwaukee Admirals
- Grand Rapids Gets by Moose, 2-1 - Manitoba Moose
- Stars Goaltender Landon Bow Shuts out Admirals in 1-0 Win - Texas Stars
- Four Bears Score to Drop T-Birds, 4-2 - Hershey Bears
- Crunch Come Back to Top Amerks, 2-1, in Shootout - Syracuse Crunch
- T-Birds Unable to Keep Bears at Bay - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Tough Third Trips up Checkers - Charlotte Checkers
- Roadrunners 'Painted Fan of the Game' Starts February 23 - Tucson Roadrunners
- Iacopelli Assigned to Indy - Rockford IceHogs
- Berube's 40 Saves Helps Power Monsters Past Checkers, 5-1 - Cleveland Monsters
- Coyotes Recall Bunting from Tucson - Tucson Roadrunners
- Week 18 Report: Hot Hogs Storm out of All-Star Break - Rockford IceHogs
- John Muse Reassigned to Penguins - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Colorado Avalanche Recall Greer, Lindholm - Colorado Eagles
- Minnesota Wild Recalls Forward Joel Eriksson Ek - Iowa Wild
- The Bridgeport Report: Week 18 - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Kyle Connor Named Ephesus/AHL Graduate of the Month - AHL
- Coyotes Assign Hill and Mermis to Tucson - Tucson Roadrunners
- P-Bruins Week in Review - Providence Bruins
- Jets and Moose Celebrate Indigenous Culture with WASAC Night and Follow Your Dreams Day - Manitoba Moose
- Sens Acquire Beaudin from Colorado - Belleville Senators
- Colorado Avalanche Complete AHL Trade - Colorado Eagles
- Game Preview: Bears at Thunderbirds, 7:05 p.m. - Hershey Bears
- Ottawa Recalls Goloubef, Rodewald - Belleville Senators
- T-Birds Look to Cool off Bears Wednesday Night - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Barracuda Point Streak Halted at Seven in Loss to Wild - San Jose Barracuda
- Iowa Gets Back in the Win Column with 4-2 Victory against San Jose - Iowa Wild
- Last Week around the Leagues - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
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
- Thunderbirds Foundation Donates $15,000 to the Rays of Hope
- Thunderbirds Honored by AHL for Ticket Sales Excellence
- American Hockey League Cancels Remainder of 19-20 Season
- Springfield Thunderbirds Team up to Provide Meals to Local Hospitals
- Paul Thompson Named Springfield Thunderbirds 2019-20 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year