SPRINGFIELD, MA – Coming off three wins last weekend, the Springfield Thunderbirds will have yet another three-in-three this weekend. Presently, the Thunderbirds sit 17 points out of a playoff spot, with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Providence Bruins, and Hershey Bears tied for third place in the American Hockey League’s Atlantic Division. Providence holds the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Thunderbirds will travel to Albany to take on the Devils tonight one last time at Times Union Center. The Devils will be relocating to Binghamton for the 2017-18 AHL season. The last time these two teams played, the Thunderbirds won in an overtime thriller 3-2 back on Friday, January 13th.
The Thunderbirds will also face their old teammate Shane Harper, who was traded by the Florida Panthers in exchange for Reece Scarlett. Harper has played in four games with the Devils and has yet to register a point. On the other side of the trade, Scarlett scored his first goal as a Thunderbird back on March 3rd against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in a 5-4 loss at the MassMutual Center.
This weekend will be the last time the Thunderbirds take on the River Rats. The Devils took down the win 3-2 in overtime back on Wednesday, January 11th.
Albany is a place head coach Geordie Kinnear holds dear to him, he played 406 AHL games with Albany including winning the Calder Cup back in 1995, scoring 30 goals and collecting 68 assists during his AHL career. Kinnear finished playing in his professional career before he retired due to injury back in 2000. He also cut his teeth as a coach in Albany, spending three years as an assistant coach with the River Rats from 2001-04 before becoming a scout with the New Jersey Devils during the 2004-05 campaign. The following year he returned to Albany as an assistant coach from 2005 to 2010.
The puck will drop tonight when the Thunderbirds and Devils faceoff at 7:05 P.M.
The Thunderbirds will head to take on the Providence Bruins Saturday night. In the last meeting between the two teams, Providence shutout the Thunderbirds 3-0 back on February 26th. This will be the last meeting between these two teams in Providence. Providence will head to Springfield on Wednesday April 12th for the final meeting of the 2016-17 year between these two teams. The puck on Saturday night will drop at 7:00 P.M.
The Thunderbirds will round out the weekend when they play the Albany Devils one final time in Springfield at the MassMutual Center on Sunday afternoon. The puck will drop on Sunday afternoon at 3:05 P.M.
The Thunderbirds called up forward Tim Bozon from the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL. During his time with the Monarchs, Bozon registered six points in 14 games.