Sports stats



 Springfield Thunderbirds

T-Birds Shut Down by Mandolese & Senators

April 5, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Springfield Thunderbirds News Release


Springfield Thunderbirds' Hugh McGing versus Belleville Senators' Kevin Mandolese
Springfield Thunderbirds' Hugh McGing versus Belleville Senators' Kevin Mandolese
(Springfield Thunderbirds)

BELLEVILLE, ON -- The Springfield Thunderbirds (29-32-3-2) could not find any offense in a 3-0 loss to the Belleville Senators (32-27-3-3) on Friday night inside CAA Arena.

The opening period began quietly on the offensive end of the ice. Still, it was far from quiet when heavyweights Sam Bitten and Boko Imama dropped the mitts less than three minutes into the action, invigorating their respective benches.

The Senators eventually got the icebreaker when former T-Bird Jamieson Rees rang a shot off Colten Ellis in the mask. Before he could locate the rebound, Ellis was left helpless when Tyler Kleven crept in from the left point to punch the rebound into the yawning cage at the 12:04 mark.

While Ellis was saddled with the 1-0 deficit on that play, the Springfield goaltender stood tall minutes later when two separate penalties put the T-Birds in a 5-on-3 disadvantage for 41 seconds. Ellis calmly got the T-Birds out of the dilemma with a pair of marvelous saves on Josh Currie and Egor Sokolov, among others. By the end of the frame, the netminder had already accumulated 13 stops.

At the other end, Kevin Mandolese had little work, making five stops in the Senator goal crease, with his best denial coming off a bang-bang play in the crease on Hugh McGing in the opening half of the frame.

The opening half of the middle stanza had striking similarities to the first, with neither team able to establish much in the offensive zone. No penalty was called in the second, but that did not stop the Senators from taking advantage with 6:00 to go.

Nikolas Matinpalo flung a shot at the net from the right point. Ellis made the initial save, but the rebound sat between skates in front of the net. Zack Ostapchuk, who had taken a puck to the head earlier in the frame, made his way into the fray, tucking the loose change around Ellis to scoop up his 15th goal of the season and give Belleville a 2-0 lead, which Mandolese kept intact with nine more saves in the middle stanza.

Pressing to find offense in the third, the T-Birds found themselves in a bigger hole just 4:09 into the third when Cole Reinhardt finished off a 2-on-1 from Ostapchuk to make it 3-0. Mandolese and the Belleville defense did the rest, as Springfield could not dent the Senator goalie on 25 shots. Mandolese's blank sheet was the first of his AHL career.

The T-Birds look to bounce back on Saturday afternoon for a 3:00 p.m. matchup inside Place Bell against the Laval Rocket.

Fans can reserve seats for Thunderbirds' hockey action in the 2023-24 season by calling (413)-739-GOAL (4625) or visiting www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.

-- SPRINGFIELD THUNDERBIRDS -





Images from this story

Springfield Thunderbirds' Hugh McGing versus Belleville Senators' Kevin Mandolese
Springfield Thunderbirds' Hugh McGing versus Belleville Senators' Kevin Mandolese

  

• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...

American Hockey League Stories from April 5, 2024


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.

OurSports Central