TORONTO, ON – Andreas Johnsson scored two goals as the Marlies defeated the Thunderbirds 4-1 at Ricoh Coliseum before a crowd of 5,208. The Marlies swept the season series between the two teams.
In the first period there was no scoring. The Marlies controlled the play, though, firing 11 shots on Thunderbirds goaltender Sam Brittain.
The second period would be another story as the Marlies scored three unanswered goals. Andreas Johnsson scored his first goal of the evening on the power play 2:37 into the second period. William Wrenn responded with a play from Seth Griffith to have the Marlies go up 2-0. Andrew Nielsen finished off the period with a rebound from Frederik Gauthier to score his 13th of the year to go up 3-0.
The Thunderbirds received a four-on-three power play late in the second period but could not respond on the chance.
Jared McCann finally got Springfield on the scoreboard late in the third period with a power play goal and his seventh of the year to make it 3-1. Johnsson would respond, scoring his second goal of the evening on a breakaway with 1:58 left in regulation to give the Marlies a 4-1 lead.
Marlies goaltender Garret Sparks made 28 saves in the win. It was Sparks’ first game back since suffering an injury on February 25. Brittain made 24 saves in the loss.
The Thunderbirds will travel back to Rochester today to take on the Americans and conclude the season series at Blue Cross Arena. The puck will drop at 3:05 P.M.