SPRINGFIELD, MA – The sophomore slump continues for the Springfield Thunderbirds as the season-opening losing streak now stands at five games. The Providence Bruins scored three second-period goals, including two shorthanded, to defeat the Thunderbirds by the final score of 5-2.
Thunderbirds Head Coach Geordie Kinnear pointed some of the blame for the loss on the special teams.
“Power play has got to get better. We got to fix it. They got the two shorthanded goals. It gave them momentum.” Kinnear Said
The first period was scoreless.
The second period would be a different story. Bruins defenseman Chris Breen sent a pass to Danton Heinen, and Heinen found former Springfield Falcon Jordan Szwarz near the open net to put it past Thunderbirds goaltender Sam Montembeault to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead with 12:20 remaining in the second period.
The Bruins would not end the night with shorthanded goals as Danton Heinen stole the puck from Thunderbirds Jayce Hawryluk and went on a breakaway and beat Montembeault with the backhand to go up 2-0.
Austin Czarnik scored his first goal of the evening as Heinen sent a pass to Czarnik and put it past Montembeault to go up 3-0.
Tempers started to flare late in the second period when the Thunderbirds’ Chase Balisy dropped the gloves with the Bruins Colby Cave.
“He’s a true pro. He’s been in the league. He understands it. He plays hard. I talk about everyday people and he’s an everyday person. He comes to the rink. Works hard at practice. He’s a good leader for us.” Kinnear Said.
The Bruins continued the scoring run 28 seconds into the third period as Jordan Szwarz scored his second of the evening with a power play goal to go up 4-0. Bruins’ players Heinen, Czarnik, and Szwarz compared for five goals and five assists.
The Thunderbirds were able to get on the board with 13:10 left in regulation when Dryden Hunt was able to put one past Bruins goaltender Jordan Binnington to make it 4-1. Curtis Valk and Reece Scarlett received assists on Hunt’s goal.
The Thunderbirds were able to crash the net, and Ryan Horvat was able to score his first goal of the season with assists from Juho Lammikko and Anthony Greco with 50 seconds left in regulation to make it 4-2.
Czarnik added an empty-net goal with eight seconds left in regulation to make it 5-2 for the Bruins.
Bruins goaltender Jordan Binnington finished the game with 24 saves in the win while Thunderbirds goaltender Sam Montembeault finished with 19 saves in the loss.
The Thunderbirds will play in Syracuse against the Crunch tonight before returning home to face the Belleville Senators in a Sunday afternoon matinee.