SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds and the Providence Bruins played for the third time in nine days last night at the MassMutual Center.
It was a quiet first period and although the Thunderbirds pushed the play, they could not convert on their scoring chances. Springfield outshot the Bruins 8-4 in the first frame.
The Bruins received a penalty late in the first period when Jordan Szwarz received a double minor for high-sticking. The power play would resume in the second period for the Thunderbirds.
Tempers started to get heated in the second period when Brett Regner and Bruins right winger Jordan Szwarz tussled. Both would receive double minor roughing penalties.
As the third period rolled along, the Thunderbirds threatened as the scoreless deadlock reached the final moments. Anton Khudobin kept the net closed in finishing off his second consecutive shutout.
Late in the third, the Bruins earned just their second power play of the night when Josh Brown was guilty of a trip on Zac Rinaldo with less than 45 seconds to play. With just 16 seconds on the clock, former Springfield Falcon banked a pass off of Dylan McIlrath and past Berra for the game’s only goal, Szwarz’s ninth of the season, pushing Providence to a 4-2 lead in the season series. The win was Providence’s seventh straight triumph away from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin registered the shutout with 25 saves.
Thunderbirds Head Coach Geordie Kinnear thought his team played a great game.
“It’s not what we want but I liked the way we played,” Kinnear said.
Kinnear felt his team played a full 60 minutes. Kinnear thought the effort was put in by his team but the Thunderbirds did come up short:
“If you keep doing things right. You’ll get rewarded. We weren’t rewarded tonight but you’ll be rewarded down the line,” Kinnear said.
The Thunderbirds will be back in action on Monday as they take the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Phantoms will make their first appearance here in Springfield. The Phantoms have won the first two meetings of the season.
“You look at our division and it’s a tough division. Providence is a team we want to catch along with Lehigh Valley, Hershey, and Wilkes-Barre. There in the playoffs spot. These points are important,” Kinnear said.