SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds can put their losing streak to the Providence Bruins behind them, after beating the Providence Bruins for the third time this year with a 3-2 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 6,793 at MassMutual Center. Its the Thunderbirds third sellout of the year.
“We started on time. Played the right way to a very, very good hockey team. They came back they won the second period. We handled it pretty well in the third period. Checked well. I like to see some more offensive zone time Britts (Sam Brittain) came up big. Great win, resilient group,” Thunderbirds head coach Geordie Kinnear said of the win.
The Thunderbirds came out and took control early, scoring the game’s first three goals. MacKenzie Weegar fired a slap shot from the right circle to beat Bruins goaltender Dan Vladar to go up 1-0. Tony Turgeon scored the first of two goals in the period. He scored his first American Hockey League goal and put in a backhander past Vladar to go up 2-0. That second goal would spell the end of the night for Vladar, and in came Malcolm Subban. Vladar gave up two goals on five shots.
Turgeon made sure Subban’s welcome to the game was not pleasant, as he tipped in a shot from MacKenzie Weegar to go put Springfield up 3-0.
“I am not really known to put too many pucks in the net but I was happy to contribute to the team and we got a good start there in the first period.” Turgeon said.
Providence responded with two goals in the second period from Jordan Szwarz. Former Boston University Standout Charlie McAvoy, who earned his first professional point with an assist as Szwarz scored with a one-timer to cut it to 3-1. Szwarz added his second of the night minutes later, with another one-timer to cut it 3-2.
Providence tried to answer to tie it but Sam Brittain kept the Thunderbirds in this game stopping all 16 shots in the third period.
The Thunderbirds goaltender made a total of 32 saves last night.
“I thought as a team we played awesome. We had big expectation for ourselves. Big challenge playing you know the top team and I think second or third place team in our division and we came out ready to go both nights from the beginning and we we’re rewarded for our hard work.” Brittain said.
The Thunderbirds will be back in action when they travel to Webster Bank Arena to take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Tuesday at 11 am and will be back home on Wednesday, April 12th against the Providence Bruins at 7:05 pm.
NOTES: While the Thunderbirds played against the Providence Bruins last night. Their National Hockey League affiliates the Florida Panthers played against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Saturday afternoon. The Bruins took down the 5-2 victory. Thunderbirds goaltender Reto Berra got the start for the Panthers and made 24 saves on 28 shots.