T-Birds' Third Straight Three-Game Weekend Opens on Home Ice Friday vs. Bears
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (16-12-5-3) begin a third consecutive three-game weekend on Friday night as they welcome the Hershey Bears (15-19-0-2) to the MassMutual Center, with puck drop set for 7:05 p.m.
The Thunderbirds finished last weekend with three out of a possible four points in their last two contests, including an impressive 5-3 dispatching of the Providence Bruins (16-16-5-0 entering weekend) on Saturday night in front of a sold out crowd for Blast From the Past night, during which the T-Birds sported throwback Springfield Indians jerseys.
Captain Paul Thompson scored twice, while Jonathan Ang logged a goal and two assists in the win on Saturday night. Riley Stillman also tallied the first goal of his professional career to round out the Thunderbirds' 9th five-goal performance of the season. Springfield boasts the AHL's eighth-best scoring team (3.53 goals per game). Springfield will host the Bruins on Saturday night for "Not All Heroes Wear Capes" Hometown Heroes Night presented by United Bank. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m., and fans can get pictures with Marvel superheroes Black Panther and Captain America on the concourse throughout the evening, presented by Balise Lexus.
The three-in-three weekend concludes on Sunday when the Thunderbirds make their first trip to Providence in 2018-19 - puck drop is slated for 3:05 p.m.
On Friday, Springfield looks to avenge a 4-3 overtime loss on Sunday to Lehigh Valley when they welcome another Pennsylvania-based divisional rival in the Bears. Springfield has won two of the first three meetings with Hershey to begin the 2018-19 season series, including two in a row. In the last matchup on Dec. 16, the Thunderbirds got two goals from Anthony Greco en route to a 4-1 win and were anchored on the back end by All-Star Sam Montembeault's 28 saves.
The Thunderbirds' power play, which continues to click at better than 25% and sits third in the AHL overall, will look to keep its hot streak going. Springfield's man advantage unit has scored at least once in each of their last seven games. Going back further, the Springfield power play has goals in 14 of its last 16 games.
The Bears come into Springfield sitting in the bottom of the Atlantic Division standings with just 32 points on the season. Hershey has the lowest scoring offense in the East with an average of just 2.53 goals per game. Inversely, the Bears have allowed 3.33 goals per game, which ranks 25th in the AHL.
Fans looking to purchase tickets to Friday or Saturday's home games can visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com or call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
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.
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