SPRINGFIELD, MA- Thunderbirds right winger Anthony Greco had a four-point night and goaltender Sam Montembeault had another stellar performance with 31 saves helped the Thunderbirds score four in a row at the MassMutual Center with a 5-2 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday night. It’s the third time in three weeks that the Thunderbirds have beaten the Sound Tigers.
” The boys have been hot as of late. Coming into the lineup, I wanted to try and help out as much as I could. It took like 50 minutes for me to get going on offense but I’ll take it. Monty (Sam Montembeault) played unbelievable tonight,” said Dryden Hunt.
” They’re a team we play a lot. We know they are going to bring it every time we play them. We were fortunate enough to have a good third period and a good first period,” said Greco.
” Felt good right from the start today even before I ended the morning skate this morning. We had a good start today,” Montembeault said.
The Thunderbirds got on the board first a close to halfway into the first period. Greco was called for tripping on a previous play and once he left the penalty box, Thunderbirds defenseman Tim Erixon found Greco. Greco would setup Curtis Valk and Valk took a shot that went past Sound Tigers goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis to go up 1-0. It was Valk’s ninth goal of the year.
Greco was not done in the first period as he extended the lead when Thunderbirds defenseman Ed Wittchow who was a playing as a forward in this game setup Greco as he was able to get a shot past Gudlevskis for his 11th goal of the season to make it 2-0. Maxime Fortunus was credited with the secondary assist.
The Thunderbirds would go up 3-0 35 seconds later as Rob Hamilton scored his first professional goal with a shot from the slot to make it 3-0. Ed Wittchow and Anthony Greco were credited with the assists on Hamilton’s goal.
” It was nice to get the first one out of the way,” Hamilton said.
The Sound Tigers responded in the second period as Mitchell Vandle Sompel scored his third of the season on a one-timer with assists from Seth Helgeson and Stephen Gionta to make it 3-1.
Josh Ho-Sang cut the deficit down to one for the Sound Tigers on the power play with a shot from the left side to make it 3-2 with assists from Michael Dal Colle and Ross Johnston.
Montembeault’s save of the game came in the third period when Ben Holmstrom came in on the right side on a shorthanded chance but Montembeault denied Holmstrom with a glove save. Montembeault’s confidence is improving in each game he plays in.
Dryden Hunt gave the Thunderbirds insurance with 2:12 remaining in regulation to score his sixth of the season with a wrist shot. The goal was unassisted.
Anthony Greco capped off his four point night with an empty net goal for his second of the night and his team-leading 12th of the season.
With the Thunderbirds winning four in a row, Hamilton believes the fans are a help
” I know we had a bowling event the other day and talking to all of them. They are extremely passionate. We thank all of them for coming out every night and making the building loud and exciting place to play for us. It’s definitely energy. We can feel it on the bench,” said Hamilton.
The Thunderbirds will welcome the Providence Bruins into the MassMutual Center this evening. The drop of the puck will be at 7:05 p.m.
” Obviously they are a great team and so are we. Why can’t we beat them going into the break. That would be a huge two points against Providence going into the Christmas break,” Hunt said.
” Their very good. They have a lot of depth. Their good on offense and defense. We played them a lot in the beginning of the year. We haven’t played them in a while,” Montembeault said.