SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds will wrap up the pre-Christmas portion of their 2017-18 schedule by welcoming the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the Providence Bruins to the MassMutual Center this weekend.
It will be the third time in three weeks that the Sound Tigers have come to the MassMutual Center. The Thunderbirds have won the last two meetings at the MassMutual Center as they won 4-3 back on Saturday, December 9 and 5-4 last Friday night. The Sound Tigers are on a bit of a slide recently, having won three out of their last 10 games.
The Providence Bruins will come to town on Saturday. The last these two teams played was at the MassMutual Center back on Sunday, November 12 when Alexandre Grenier scored the game-winning goal in overtime on the power play to give the Thunderbirds a 3-2 victory.
The Bruins are on a hot streak as they won their last nine out of 10 games and that has been aided by the addition of Matt Beleskey, who joined the team after being put on waivers last week by the Boston Bruins. Beleskey made his Providence Bruins debut last Saturday against the Hershey Bears.
In his pro career, he has skated in 104 games in the American Hockey League with the Iowa Chops, Toronto Marlies, San Antonio Rampage, Syracuse Crunch, Norfolk Admirals, and the Providence Bruins. In those games, he scored 25 goals and added 42 assists for 67 points. According to hockeydb.com, Beleskey has appeared in 472 games in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks and the Boston Bruins scoring 75 goals and chipped in 82 assists for 157 points.
The Thunderbirds were busy in the transaction department this past week.
On Sunday, the Florida Panthers announced that Thunderbirds left winger Dryden Hunt has been sent down to the Thunderbirds.
Hunt has skated in 11 games with the Panthers receiving one assist and skated in 13 games with the Thunderbirds this season scoring five goals and receiving three assists for eight points.
The Thunderbirds called up forward Matt Buckles from the Manchester Monarchs in the ECHL on Monday. During his time with the Monarchs, Buckles went on a scoring streak scoring four goals and receiving five assists for nine points in six games. Buckles has skated in 13 games with the Thunderbirds this season receiving three assists.
It was announced on Tuesday, the Edmonton Oilers have loaned defenseman Mark Fayne to the Thunderbirds and the Florida Panthers acquired forward Greg Chase from the Edmonton Oilers for future considerations.
Fayne has skated in 389 games in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils and the Edmonton Oilers where he has scored 17 goals and received 48 assists. He also played in 68 games in the AHL with the Albany Devils and the Bakersfield Condors and scored four goals and received 19 assists for 23 points.
Chase has skated in 17 games with the Wichita Thunder in the ECHL this season, scoring seven goals and receiving 10 assists for 17 points and has played in 73 games in the AHL with the Oklahoma City Barons and the Bakersfield Condors. Chase is in the final year of his entry-level contract.
Thunderbirds left winger Ryan Horvat will be missing action tonight and tomorrow as he is serving a two-game suspension from a boarding incident during the game last weekend against the Hartford Wolf Pack.
The puck will drop in both games tonight and tomorrow at the MassMutual Center at 7:05 p.m.