SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds scored three unanswered goals in the first period as they defeated the Providence Bruins 5-2 Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 6,793 at the MassMutual Center completing the weekend sweep heading into the American Hockey League All-Star Break.
“We always talk about managing your shifts and the ups and downs of the game. There’s always gonna be that in a hockey game. As you saw, the guys did it the right way. We’re mentality tough and bounce back with a good effort.” Thunderbirds Head Coach Geordie Kinnear said.
Kenny Agostino gave the Bruins the lead 11 seconds into the game as he took a pass from Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson on the right side and put it past Thunderbirds goaltender Evan Cowley to make it 1-0.
The Bruins tried to extend their lead on two breakaway chances by Ryan Fitzgerald and Matt Beleskey but were both denied by Cowley.
Anthony Greco tied the game for the Thunderbirds with his third goal in two games and his team leading 18th goal of the season with a shorthanded goal with help from Ryan Horvat from behind the net and Greco tipped it in past Bruins goaltender Jordan Binnington tie it at 1-1.
Alex Grenier gave the Thunderbirds the lead on the power play when Maxim Mamin made a cross-corner pass to Juho Lammikko and Lammikko setup Grenier put it through Binnington to make it 2-1.
Chase Balisy scored his 10th of the season with a one-timer to make it 3-1 for Thunderbirds. Anthony Greco and Ludwig Bystrom would be credited with the assists.
Grenier extended the lead for the Thunderbirds in the second period with his second goal of the evening with a backhand past it Binnington to make it 4-1. Maxim Mamin received his second assist of the evening and Rob Hamilton received the secondary assist.
Austin Czarnik cut into the lead for the Bruins almost three minutes into the third period to make it 4-2.
Bobby Farnham extended the lead for the Thunderbirds after he tipped in a shot from Ian McCoshen to make it 5-2.
“It’s definitely big especially right before the break. Getting those two wins are definitely huge right now especially in the standings,” Grenier said.
Thunderbirds goaltender Evan Cowley made 34 saves in the team win.
The Thunderbirds will be back in action this Friday, February 2 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport and return to home ice at the MassMutual Center on Wednesday, February 7 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.