SPRINGFIELD, MA – Anthony Greco scored two goals and a 33-save shutout performance by Harri Sateri helped the Thunderbirds secure a 4-0 victory over the Charlotte Checkers Friday night at the MassMutual Center.
“I thought all 20 guys were playing well and playing the right way. Harri (Sateri) obviously had a great game.” Thunderbirds head coach Geordie Kinnear said.
The Thunderbirds opened up the scoring at 6:09 in the first period during a 2-on-0 breakaway between Juho Lammikko and Greco, who was able to put it past Checkers goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic to make it 1-0. Greco’s goal, his 19th of the season, brought him into a tie with Paul Thompson for the T-Birds single-season goal scoring record.
The Checkers earned an opportunity a little over a minute into the second period when Thunderbirds defenseman Ludwig Bystrom was called for interference. Horvat disputed the decision and would sit in the penalty box for two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Thunderbirds penalty kill killed off a huge opportunity for the Checkers.
The Thunderbirds would come out in the third period with three unanswered goals. Greco scored his second of the night on a 2-on-1 with Curtis Valk to make it 2-0, becoming the first Thunderbirds player to record 20 goals in a season.
Alex Grenier gave the Thunderbirds insurance with an empty net goal for his 14th of the season with 4:20 remaining in regulation. Dryden Hunt and Bystrom received the assists on Grenier’s goal.
Curtis Valk scored the final goal of the night for the Thunderbirds with his 13th goal of the season putting in a wrist shot past Nedeljkovic to make it 4-0. Dryden Hunt received the assist on Valk’s goal.
News and Notes:
- It is the second time the Thunderbirds have shutout the Checkers this season with the same score. Thunderbirds goaltender Sam Montembeault shutout the Checkers back on Friday, November with a 4-0 victory.
- Sateri is the third Thunderbirds goaltender to receive a shutout this year. Evan Cowley got the second Thunderbirds shutout against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers back on February 2 with a 1-0 victory.
- The Thunderbirds have now recorded points in their last three games. Kinnear felt the team has gotten better defensively and playing much better as a five-man unit.
The Thunderbirds will be back in action tonight as they traveled to Utica to take on the Comets and will return to the MassMutual Center next Friday night to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack.