SPRINGFIELD, MA– The Springfield Thunderbirds for the third game in a row played in overtime and or a shootout. The Providence Bruins scored the only goal in the shootout to defeat the Thunderbirds 5-4 last night at the MassMutual Center.
Boston Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin made the start for the Providence Bruins.
Alex Grant got the Bruins on the board first in the first period as he put in a rebound past Thunderbirds goaltender Reto Berra off a shot from Matt Grzelcyk.
The Thunderbirds had the power play advantage and had a scoring chance as they could not convert. Thunderbirds defenseman Josh Brown took a wrist shot after picking up the puck from Juho Lammikko. Khudobin tried to make the save with his glove and shoulder as the puck went behind him to even the score at 1-1.
Brown had a multiple point night as Juho Lammikko setup Brown. Brown took a wrist shot as Ryan Horvat deflected it home to give the Thunderbirds the advantage.
The Thunderbirds extended their lead in the second period as Dryden Hunt made a pass to Mike Sgarbossa and scored his first goal as a Thunderbirds to go up by two goals. The Bruins disputed the goal as they believe the puck tipped off the Thunderbirds bench, but it was never reviewed.
The Bruins were not done in the second period as they piled on three unanswered goals in the stanza. Peter Mueller cut the deficit to 3-2 with a rebound on the power play that went past Berra’s glove. Minutes later, Peter Cehlarik tied the game for the Bruins on a rebound from a block shot to get a shot through Berra. Colton Hargrove gave the Bruins the lead in the closing seconds of the second period as he went to the net and put it home past Berra.
The Thunderbirds in three games this week were outscored 7-2 in the second period.
The Thunderbirds took 20 shots in the third period and wasn’t until late that they got one past Khudobin. Paul Thompson tied the game with 1:05 left in regulation when he won the race to a loose puck in the slot area. Khudobin tried to make it back to the net when Thompson tied the game.
Thompson talked about his goal.
“Kind of a fortunate bounce. We just got rewarded there for playing the right way in the third and I think we deserved one and certainly nice to get us back in the game there and get that bounce and be in the right spot. I think we were buzzing pretty good in the third. We had a lot of chances.” Thompson Said
The Bruins dominated the overtime period with scoring chances. Berra was huge in the extra session with making four saves to keep his team in it.
It was not enough though for the Thunderbirds as Mike Sgarbossa, Thomas Schemitsch, and Chase Balisy could not score in three rounds in the shootout to give the Thunderbirds a point in their last three games.
Peter Chelarik scored the game winner for the Bruins in round two of the shootout with a wrist shot that got past Berra.
“Overall just a sloppy game from our perspective. We got to tighten things up and get better.” Thunderbirds head coach Geordie Kinnear Said.
The Thunderbirds have played a lot of hockey during these past few weeks. The team for three weekends in a row played three games in three nights. This week was three games in four nights. The Thunderbirds will not play until Friday, when they will have a home and home series with the Hershey Bears.
Kinnear says the break in the schedule is welcomed.
“The rest will be good for them so we can play back to our style and to be quite honest yesterday’s game (Friday night against Utica). I was thrilled with how we played and today I wasn’t as thrilled. The recipe is there. We just got to be more of a 60 minute team moving forward.” Kinnear Said
Paul Thompson believes it is nice to have a couple days off and get some rest and get back to practicing for the players that are close to family to get home or family that is coming to see their players.
“We definitely been playing a lot and traveling a lot so its been a tough schedule which I think some rest will definitely do us good.” Thompson Said
Mike Sgarbossa joined the Thunderbirds just a few days ago as he was traded from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Logan Shaw. The transition has been difficult for Sgarbossa coming from the west to the east just as far as the travel. Sgarbossa says that everyone has been great with him getting accustomed to the area and the style of play.
“Pretty easy right now but I’m just happy to get settled and hopefully I will get settled in even more as the season goes on.” Sgarbossa Said
The Thunderbirds will be back in action this Friday night against the Hershey Bears at the MassMutual Center at 7:05 P.M.