SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds kicked off their third straight 3-in-3 Friday night against the St. John’s Ice Caps. They got off to a great start last night, racing out to a decided edge in possession and in shots on goal.
They have struggled with special teams this season at home. They went on the power play and answered on the first opportunity of the night. Logan Shaw took a shot from the right side and Sena Acolatse scored on the rebound to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead.
Ice Caps center Mark MacMillan was tripped on a scoring chance and was awarded a penalty shot in the second period. Thunderbirds goaltender Reto Berra denied MacMillan on the penalty shot chance with a right pad save.
The Thunderbirds went up by two early in the third period when Eric Robinson set up a centering pass to Stephen MacAulay, who fired a wrist shot past Charlie Lindgren. Shaw added an empty net short-handed goal with 1:39 remaining in regulation.
Ice Caps left winger Stefan Matteau put an end to Berra’s shutout bid 17 seconds after the Shaw goal with 1:22 left in regulation. Berra finished the game with 20 saves.
Thunderbirds head coach Geordie Kinnear said that the compete level was there from all 20 guys last night. In his post-game remarks, he said he was pleased with the effort his team showed and how they were ready to play the physical play.
The Thunderbirds have played for the third weekend in a row three games in three days. Kinnear gave his thoughts on it.
“I like it sometimes because the guys are able to dig in and compete for three games and not just one or two games. It’s all three games. Actually, I don’t mind it sometimes,” Kinnear said.
The Thunderbirds will take on the Binghamton Senators tonight on the road and will return back to the MassMutual Center tomorrow afternoon to take on the Rochester Americans.