UTICA, NY – The Springfield Thunderbirds finally put an end to their five-game losing streak last night when Jayce Hawryluk scored the game-winning goal 1:24 into overtime to defeat the Utica Comets 2-1. Thunderbirds goaltender Sam Brittain, was playing in his first American Hockey League game since April 16th, 2016, made 24 saves in the win. Brittain has been playing for the Manchester Monarchs in the ECHL throughout the year.
The Thunderbirds got on the board late in the first period when Shane Harper fired a wrist shot that went past Comets goaltender Richard Bachman to go up 1-0. The goal was Harper’s sixth of the 2016-17 campaign.
The Comets responded early in the second period when Colby Robak made a pass to Pascal Pelletier to beat Brittain to tie the game at 1-1.
Neither team had success on the power play, which kept the game close through regulation time.
Back in November, these two teams went into overtime when the Thunderbirds lost.
This time it would be a different outcome. Hawryluk fired a backhander past Bachmann to settle this put game and put the end to the losing streak.
Matt MacKenzie and Kyle Rau were given assists on Hawryluk’s second goal of the season.
The Thunderbirds will be back in action for two home games beginning tomorrow night against the Syracuse Crunch. It will be the first meeting of the season between these teams. They will round out the weekend on Saturday when the Hershey Bears come to town. The Thunderbirds have yet to win against the Bears during the year. Hershey occupies the fourth and final spot in the AHL Calder Cup Playoff Atlantic Division, but have backslid of late.
The puck will drop for both games at 7:05 P.M.