SPRINGFIELD, MA – Alexandre Grenier‘s game-winning goal 1:59 into overtime helped the Springfield Thunderbirds score back-to-back wins for the first time this season as they defeated the Providence Bruins 4-3 Sunday afternoon.
“That’s a real good hockey team we played. Some top end players and you know great first period. We managed the down time in the second period. We didn’t let affect the third period and we came out and tied it up and big goal on the overtime.” Thunderbirds Head Coach Geordie Kinnear said.
The power play worked to the advantage of the Thunderbirds for the second game in a row, as they went five for seven in both games this weekend.
The Thunderbirds received their first power play of the game as former Thunderbird Sena Acolatse was called for cross-checking. Blaine Byron was able to put a backhand shot past Bruins goaltender Jordan Binnington for his second of the year with help from Alexandre Grenier and Curtis Valk to make it 1-0.
The Bruins scored three unanswered goals in the second period. Ryan Fitzgerald scored his fourth of the season after it went through Thunderbirds goaltender Harri Sateri to tie it at 1-1. Providence took their first lead of the evening when Senyshyn this time setup Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson on the right side and sent a shot through Sateri to go up 2-1. Emil Johansson scored his first goal of the year with help from Forsbacka-Karlsson and Senyshyn with a snapshot to make it 3-1.
The Thunderbirds did not go away quietly in the period as they got a power play opportunity when Forsbacka-Karlsson was called for tripping on Providence Curtis Valk setup Juho Lammikko as the shot went through Binnington to cut the lead down to 3-2.
The Thunderbirds tied things up close to halfway in the third period when Anthony Greco sent a pass into the crease, and Chase Balisy tipped it in for his second goal in as many games to tie the game at 3-3. After the game-tying goal, Providence Bruins head coach Jay Leach challenged the play on the ice, and after further video review, the call on the ice was a goal.
The game headed into overtime and at 1:17, the Bruins were called for too many men on the ice. The Thunderbirds were able to put this game away as Malgin setup Grenier, who fired a backhand shot under the crossbar to score the game-winning goal in overtime.
The Thunderbirds will play the Charlotte Checkers for the first time in franchise history as they come to the MassMutual Center on Wednesday. Kinnear is the former assistant coach of the Checkers.
“That’s a high-end team too. Four lines of skill. They’ve gone through their growing pains as an organization for a long time and now they have two top end teams in the National Hockey League and in Charlotte.” Kinnear said.