Thunderbirds Can't Get Past Marlies in Front of Sellout Crowd
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (21-22-6-4) could not make a 41-save effort from Sam Montembeault stand up in a 3-1 loss on Saturday night to the Toronto Marlies (26-18-5-3) in front of a sellout crowd of 6,793 inside the MassMutual Center.
For a second straight matchup between the T-Birds and Marlies, the visitors opened the scoring in the first two minutes. This time, Toronto did the honors as Dmytro Timashov located a loose puck amid a net-mouth scramble just 1:09 into the first. After Calle Rosen's initial shot pinballed off Montembeault and a few defenders, Timashov snapped the rebound over the Springfield goaltender's glove hand to make it 1-0 Marlies.
Montembeault was again asked to be at his best in a first period with his team being outshot 15-8. Montembeault, in turn, responded with 14 saves on 15 shots to keep his team within one after the opening period. The Springfield penalty kill also picked up its goaltender by keeping the Marlies off the board after Paul Thompson picked up a roughing minor. Thompson and Toronto's Jordan Subban also settled their own score in a fight, leading to seven minutes of penalties in the opening frame for the Springfield captain.
At the other end, Kasimir Kaskisuo stopped all eight shots that came his way through 20 minutes.
Montembeault continued his great night in the second period with two flashy glove saves in the first three minutes to keep the score 1-0.
In front of the sold out MassMutual Center, the Thunderbirds finally gave the crowd the chance to roar when Tomas Jurco deflected a Chris Wideman shot through Kaskisuo at 7:41. Juho Lammikko set up the play with a board battle win along the right wing side.
After the first half of the contest featured just one power play, the tide changed late in the middle frame. After Springfield went unsuccessful on its first man advantage, the Marlies broke the tie thanks to a trio of Springfield penalties in an 84-second stretch. Toronto tallied twice with 5-on-3 advantages. First, Jeremy Bracco batted an aerial puck through Montembeault from the left post off a centering pass from Trevor Moore at 17:40.
Then at 18:26, Adam Brooks got his second goal in two games against the T-Birds, as he was the beneficiary of a tic-tac-toe passing play from Timashov and Moore.
Springfield upped the offensive ante in the final period, turning 15 shots into the Toronto crease, but Kaskisuo and the Marlies defense fended off every last effort to preserve the 3-1 win.
The Thunderbirds complete a three-game weekend in Providence on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. against the Bruins. For more information on tickets for the remainder of the 2018-19 season, as well as 2019-20 Season Ticket Memberships, fans can contact the Thunderbirds front office at (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
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