T-Birds Extend Season-Opening Win Streak to Three Games T-Birds overcome 1-0 deficit and rally for three straight to down Isles, 3-1

Final Score

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Springfield Thunderbirds (3-0-0-0) overcame a sluggish start and dominated the final two periods en route to a 3-1 win over the Bridgeport Islanders (0-2-0-2) at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.

Unlike their first two contests, the Thunderbirds were a bit slow out of the gates, despite killing an early Bridgeport power play before the seven-minute mark of the first. Bridgeport would use the power play as a springboard offensively, though, as Joel Hofer could not squeeze an Otto Koivula shot, allowing play to continue, and right-hand shooting defenseman Grant Hutton blasted a one-timer off a body that skipped in behind Hofer to make it a 1-0 Islanders lead at 8:49. It marked the first time all season that Springfield trailed in a game.

Springfield did not have a lack of scoring chances, however, as Ken Appleby was forced to be at his best in the Bridgeport net in the opening period, stopping 10 shots, including a half dozen off of two Thunderbird power plays.

The Thunderbirds responded to their first intermission deficit by doubling up the Islanders, 10-5, in shots for the second period of play. At 11:35 of the period, Scott Perunovich added a goal to his dazzling early-season stat sheet, throwing a left-point wrist shot off a Bridgeport body and in behind Appleby.

Springfield kept pushing the envelope in the second, but Appleby and the Islanders defense held the fort despite some lengthy offensive zone sequences for the home team.

The Thunderbirds' onslaught of the Bridgeport net would not stop in the third, and the power play finally broke through to put the game away at the 6:49 marker of period three. Hugh McGing skated into the left circle and slid a perfect cross-crease pass to Nathan Todd, who finished into an open net to give Springfield a 2-1 lead.

2:59 later, following a third straight successful kill on the night, the T-Birds added insurance as Nolan Stevens sprung Matthew Peca on a breakaway, and the veteran beat Appleby with a snapper over the glove hand to make it a 3-1 final score.

Hofer finished with 16 saves on 17 shots to improve to 2-0. The Thunderbirds finished the homestand a perfect 3-0, the first such start in team history.

The Thunderbirds take to the road for the first time on Saturday when they visit the Islanders in Bridgeport for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop.

For more information on the Springfield Thunderbirds and to order tickets, please visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com. To learn more about becoming a Thunderbirds ticket member, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) to speak to a Thunderbirds representative.

Next Home Game: October 30th

1st Star: Nathan Todd - 2nd Star: Scott Perunovich - 3rd Star: Matthew Peca
Post Game Interviews