SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds rallied to come back and win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last night with a 2-1 victory in overtime. For the second time in the last three home games, the Thunderbirds won in overtime. It was the second meeting between these two teams in eight days.
The Penguins scored late in the first period as Jean-Sebastian Dea scored on a deflection with 1:47 remaining. For Dea, it was his second goal of the year and on the power play.
The Penguins took over the momentum of the game in the second period. The Thunderbirds only took four shots on goal in the second period. Thunderbirds goaltender Mike McKenna kept it to a one-goal game during the second period, while facing quite a bit of pressure. His save of the game came late in the second period as defensemen Tim Erixon came down the left wing and snapped a one-time pass from Josh Archibald going towards the open goal as McKenna slid from the left to the right to make the save. After two periods of play, McKenna made a total of 23 saves.
The Thunderbirds tied the game with 9:35 left in regulation with a power play goal as Paul Thompson scored with a backhander. For the Thunderbirds, it was their second power play goal in as many games.
In overtime, the Penguins got two odd-man rush chances, the best one coming when Penguins defensemen Kevin Potter missed the net on a shot from the left wing. Chase Balisy scored the game-winning goal a 1:30 into overtime as he handled the puck on the backhand and tucked in past Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry. For Balisy, it was his first goal of the year.
Mike McKenna made 27 saves to get his second win in a row.
The Thunderbirds will travel for a rematch this afternoon against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The game will begin at 3:00 P.M.