SPRINGFIELD, MA – Kellen Jones’ second period goal led the Bridgeport Sound Tigers into a 3-2 victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds last night at the MassMutual Center. Springfield Thunderbirds head coach Geordie Kinnear offered this succinct assessment of last night’s contest:
“Both teams played hard played to win. We made one more mistake than they did. They capitalized on their chances and we didn’t.”
The first period saw a lot of physical play and tempers flared early on. Kyle Burroughs delivered a huge hit on MacKenzie Weegar causing him to go down to the ice. Dryden Hunt tried to drop the gloves with Burroughs but the referees put an end to that and Hunt was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty almost a minute into the opening period.
The Sound Tigers broke through with a power play goal a little over five minutes into the opening period with Bracken Kearns putting in a deflection to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Dryden Hunt responded for the Thunderbirds a little over four minutes later to tie the game at 1-1 from Paul Thompson and Chase Balisy.
The first fight of the evening happened near the end of the first period with Mike Downing of the Thunderbirds and Kyle Burroughs of the Sound Tigers dropping the gloves. Both players would receive fighting majors.
A little over a minute later, Ross Johnston of the Sound Tigers and Josh Brown of the Thunderbirds dropped the gloves. Both players received fighting majors with Johnston receiving a two minute for instigating and a ten-minute misconduct.
The Thunderbirds would gain the lead early in the second when Matt Buckles, playing in his first professional game, capitalized off the rebound from a Matt MacKenzie to give the Thunderbirds a 2-1 lead at 6:58. For the former Cornell standout, it was his first professional goal.
The Sound Tigers responded quickly, however, as Josh Winquist tied the game at 2. Ninety seconds later, Kellen Jones gave the Sound Tigers the lead for good when he beat Thunderbirds goaltender Adam Wilcox. The third period got off to a rough start. Jared McCann received a match penalty for slashing and a game misconduct. In that same dustup, MacKenzie Weegar and Patrick Cullity dropped the gloves. In his postgame thoughts, Kinnear still wasn’t sure how his team ended up on the short end of the calls.
“I am not sure how we ended up on the short end of the stick on that. We had a power play. We took a penalty. Four on four and then there is melee and we come out with a McCann fight minute major. I’d have to watch the video. It is what it is. Those calls aren’t always not going to go your way. We needed to find a goal at the end.” Kinnear Said
Eamon McAdam made 19 saves in the win for the Sound Tigers. Thunderbirds goaltender Adam Wilcox made 25 saves in the loss.
The Thunderbirds hope to put an end to the four-game losing streak this weekend when the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins come to town on Friday and the Providence Bruins on Saturday. Puck drop in both games is scheduled for 7:05 pm.