SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds won their second game in a row last night at the MassMutual Center as they defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a shootout by the final score of 3-2. Jaroslav Halak, who has not played in the American Hockey League since February 24th, 2008, got the start in net for the Sound Tigers. Halak was placed on waivers earlier in the week by the New York Islanders. Halak was not claimed off of waivers and was sent down to the Sound Tigers.
There was no scoring in the first period. Both teams took nine shots a piece.
Kyle Rau, who was playing in his first Thunderbirds game since October, got the Thunderbirds on the board first when he fired a shot that rang off the crossbar and went into the net to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead.
It was a wild third period. The Thunderbirds were penalized twice The penalty kill worked to the Thunderbirds advantage as they killed seven out of eight penalties.
The Sound Tigers leveled the game with a power play goal 6:06 into the final period, when Bracken Kearns tipped one in past Thunderbirds goaltender Mike McKenna to tie it at 1. Minutes later, Jayce Hawryluk earned his first AHL point as he setup Thunderbirds defensemen MacKenzie Weegar, who ripped a shot that beat Halak for his seventh goal of the season with 6:31 left in regulation. The Sound Tigers did not go away quietly, however. Steve Bernier scored a short-handed goal with a one-timer with 22 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, both teams received four-on-three power plays, but neither team could capitalize on the man advantage. The game would then head into a shootout.
Andrew Rowe scored the only goal for the Sound Tigers in the opening round of the shootout. Jared McCann would tie it up in the bottom of the first round.
Tim Bozon scored the game-winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout when he took a shot that went past Halak’s legs to be the game-winning goal.
The Thunderbirds will have a home and home series on Friday and Saturday with the Providence Bruins. The next home game for the Thunderbirds will be this Saturday at 7:05 P.M.