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AHL Recap: Thunderbirds sweep Checkers to stay in playoff race

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Dryden Hunt shines in key back-to-back wins in Charlotte

Florida Panther v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Springfield Thunderbirds won back-to-back games over the Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles’ Coliseum this weekend to remain in contention in the AHL playoff race.

On Saturday, Rodrigo Abols notched a power-play goal from Brady Keeper and Dryden Hunt 2:58 into overtime to give the Thunderbirds a 4 -3 win. Philippe Desrosiers stopped 32 shots to pick up his 13th win of the season. Will Lochead scored his first AHL goal and Hunt and Jack Rodewald (SHG) also lit the lamp. Other T-Birds collecting assists were Henrik Borgstrom, Aleksi Heponiemi, Abols, Ethan Prow and Aleksi Saarela,

Springfield won again on Sunday by the same 4-3 score, this time in regulation. Dryden Hunt scored the go-ahead goal and added an empty-netter in the third period to power the Thunderbirds to the win. Hunt also drew an assist on Ethan Prow’s second period goal which evened the score at two apiece. Aleski Saarela (PPG) scored the other Sorinfield goal and added two assists. Henrik Borgstrom set up two goals and Paul Thompson and Matt Mangene also picked up assists. Ryan Bednard stopped 33 shots to raise his AHL record to 4-1-1.

The Thunderbirds (28-23-2) are currently in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 58 points. They trail the third place Checkers (51 games played) and fourth place Providence Bruins (52 games played) by four points.