SPRINGFIELD, MA–  The Springfield Thunderbirds concluded a home-and-home series with the Providence Bruins last night at the MassMutual Center. The Thunderbirds could not complete the sweep as they lost to the Bruins 4-1.

The game showed a lot of physical play, with three fighting majors in the game. Both teams had a combined 98 PIM in the game and 42 PIM alone in the first period.

The tempers started to flare when Thunderbirds Ryan Horvat went into an exchange with the Bruins 6’7″ defenseman Taylor Doherty. A few moments later, Thunderbirds defenseman Dylan Mcllrath got into it with Noel Acciari from the Bruins.

Springfield Thunderbirds head coach Geordie Kinnear felt that it was great to see his players sticking up for each other:

“I thought that was great. Thats the way the game should be played. We had guys step up physically and need more guys to step up physically. I was proud of some of the guys that definitely ramped it up a little bit.” Kinnear said.

Jayce Hawlyruk thought that the Providence Bruins were a big, strong team.

“Obviously there was a lot of fights tonight. I thought our guys did well and stood up for themselves and gave our team some momentum.” Hawlyruk said.

The Bruins got on the board first when Tommy Cross took a shot and Jake DeBrusk tipped it in to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

The Thunderbirds would receive a five on three power play and could not convert with Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin stopping all chances.

Juho Lammikko responded with a goal for the Thunderbirds late in the first period with 19 seconds left.

Wayne Simpson gave his team momentum and the lead for the Bruins with the feed from Peter Cehlarik. Simpson put it in passed Berra to have the Bruins go up 2-1.

Colby Cave gave the Bruins insurance late in the second with the team’s second power-play goal of the evening with a setup from Alex Grant to go up by two goals at 3-1.

When time expired in the second period, Thunderbirds left winger Tim Bozon delivered a check causing more tempers to flare and players getting into an exchange. Both teams would combine for 26 PIM during that exchange.

Bruins defenseman Tommy Cross sealed the deal with an empty-net goal late in the third period and give the Bruins the win at 4-1.

Reto Berra finished again with 25 saves in back to back starts for the Thunderbirds. Berra gave up three goals.

Anton Khudobin finished the game with 18 saves for the Bruins.

The Thunderbirds will be back in action on Wednesday night for a home and home series with the Albany Devils at 7:05 P.M. at the MassMutual Center.  The Thunderbirds and Providence Bruins will play again at the MassMutual Center this upcoming Saturday, January 14th at 7:05 P.M.

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