SPRINGFIELD, MA – Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson scored in the first period and the game-winning goal in the shootout to help the Providence Bruins defeat the Springfield Thunderbirds 2-1 on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center.
Forsbacka-Karlsson scored at 1:09 into the first period for the Bruins after Kenny Agostino setup for Karlsson with the one-timer to go by Thunderbirds goaltender Sam Montembeault to make it 1-0.
Former Springfield Thunderbird Sena Acolatse took a penalty for interference, the Thunderbirds took advantage of that. Alexandre Grenier took a one-timer that went by Bruins goaltender Jordan Binnington to tie it at 1-1 close to four minutes into the first period. Rob Hamilton and Dryden Hunt were credited with the assists.
The rest of the game would feature tight, defensive checking.
Jayce Hawryluk almost gave the Thunderbirds the lead when he fired a snapshot that hit the crossbar close to the end of the second period.
After 65 minutes of play, both teams would enter into a shootout. Josh Hennessy scored for the Bruins in the first round. Blaine Byron tied it for the Thunderbirds in the third round.
Bruins goaltender Jordan Binnington made 23 saves in the win and Montembeault made 21 saves in the loss.
“He (Montembeault) was good,” said Thunderbirds head coach Geordie Kinnear. “I thought it was back and forth. Their goalie had a couple big saves. Sam had a couple big saves. That’s playoff hockey right? Just no space. Goalies coming up with some saves and grind away when someone leans on you. How do you react? You gotta fight through.”
By earning a point on the night, the Thunderbirds continue to make the race for the fourth playoff spot interesting, as just seven points separate the fourth through eight positions.
The Thunderbirds will return to action after the Christmas break when the Hershey Bears come to the MassMutual Center on Friday, December 29. Former WWE Superstar and current Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan will be making an appearance at the game. The puck will drop at 7:05 p.m.