SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds are hoping to turn this season around as they welcome the Hershey Bears at the MassMutual Center this evening, kicking off a five-game homestand.

The Thunderbirds lost to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday 4-2. Anthony Greco and Denis Malgin scored for the Thunderbirds in the third period while goaltender Sam Montembeault made 30 saves in the loss.  The loss left the Thunderbirds in last place in the Atlantic Division with five points.

The Hershey Bears will be coming to the MassMutual Center tonight with some momentum as they defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3-2 in a shootout.  Wayne Simpson scored the game-winning goal in the shootout as well as scoring a goal in the first period.  Travis Boyd scored his third goal of the year and goaltender Phoenix Copley made 25 saves in the win. The Bears are seventh in the Atlantic Division, five points ahead of the Thunderbirds.

Bears’ forward Chris Bourque comes into tonight’s game tied for the point lead in the American Hockey League points, with four goals and 13 assists already this season.  He is tied with Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Danick Martel for the lead with 17 points.

Chandler Stephenson leads the Bears in goals with five, but he and Liam O’Brien are currently skating with the Washington Capitals.

On Tuesday, the Florida Panthers called up Thunderbirds forward Chase Balisy. Balisy made his National Hockey League debut on Saturday, October 28 against the Detroit Red Wings and had appeared in three games this season with the Panthers.  He has scored two goals for the Thunderbirds so far this season.

The puck will drop between these two teams tonight at the MassMutual Center at 7:05 p.m.

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