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Ryan Bednard a winner in AHL debut as Thunderbirds crunch Syracuse 4-1

Prospect moves up a rung and stops 36 of 37 shots

NHL: SEP 16 Preseason - Panthers at Predators Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With injury issues plaguing the Florida Panthers goaltenders and Sam Montembeault summoned to Sunrise, prospect Ryan Bednard moved up a rung from the ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits to the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds.

Bednard got his first taste of action in the “A” and came through in a big way, stopping 36 of 37 shots as the Springfield Thunderbirds pulled away for a 4-1 road win over the Syracuse Crunch.

A seventh-round pick in 2015, Bednard has compiled a 9-11-1 record, 2.99 GAA, .910 save percentage and one shutout during his first professional season with the Swamp Rabbits thus far.

After Ethan Prow opened the scoring from Daniel Audette and Liam Pecararo, Bednard surrendered the only Crunch goal to Dennis Yan at 11:51 of the first period.

Owen Tippett notched the game-winner 7:04 into the third period. Thomas Schemitsch and Tommy Cross drew the helpers on Tippett’s team-leading 16th.

Audette would put the Thunderbirds up by two a 1:15 later, assists to Prow and Jack Rodewald, and Rob O’Gara’s unassisted empty-netter with four seconds left completed the scoring.

Springfield moved within a point of the Providence Bruins for fourth place in the Atlantic Division. The P-Bruins will play the game in hand they have on T-Birds today when they visit the Bridgeport Sound Tigers before the two teams meet on Sunday in Providence.

The Bednard-less Swamp Rabbits posted a 4-3 win on home ice over the Norfolk Admorals last night. Adam Rockwood scored the game-winning goal and added an assist. Will Lochead also lit the lamp and Partrick Bajkon and Jake Horton collected assists.