The Springfield Thunderbirds were able to do something their parent club, the Florida Panthers, were not this week... win.
The Thunderbirds went on the road Friday night and routed the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 7-0 for their first win of the season. Samuel Montembeault made 35 saves and Springfield’s power play went 5-for-7 in the game. Top prospect Henrik Borgstrom scored a goal and added two assists for his first-ever AHL points. Ludwig Bystrom notched two goals and Patrick Bajkov, Paul Thompson, Anthony Greco, and Julian Melchiori also lit the lamp. Harry Zolnierczyk and Joel Lowry each had two assists.
On Saturday, the two teams went at it again in Springfield, and the Thunderbirds ended up dropping their home-opener 5-4 in a shootout. Harry Zolnierczyk, Jake Horton, Blaine Byron, and Paul Thompson scored the Springfield goals. Lehigh Valley’s Greg Carey tied the game with 23 seconds left in regulation. Chris Driedger made 30 saves and took the loss.
The Thunderbirds (2-0-0-2) picked up its first home win of the season on Sunday with a 6-3 victory over the Providence Bruins. Jake MacDonald scored twice and Harry Zolnierczyk, Anthony Greco, Blaine Byron, and Henrik Borgstrom also provided goals. Zolnierczyk added two assists, as did Jayce Hawryluk, and is tied for the AHL lead in scoring with 9 points. Samuel Montembeault stopped 30 shots to up his record to 2-0 and also picked up a helper.
Mike Matheson will have a phone hearing today with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for interference/ unsportsmanlike conduct on Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson.