Minor-League Monday: Thunderbirds split weekend set with Checkers

Daniel Audette’s overtime goal nets Springfield two points

The Springfield Thunderbirds (9-6) split a weekend set on the road against the Charlotte Checkers to remain in third place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division.

On Friday, Charlotte’s Colin Markinson scored with 5:11 left in regulation to give the Checkers a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Thunderbirds. Sebastian Repo scored the only Springfield goal, with assists going to Aleksi Heponiemi and Jonathan Ang, to tie the game in the second period. Chris Driegder stopped 27 of 29 shots in defeat.

Daniel Audette scored 1:05 into overtime to give the Thunderbirds a 4-3 win. Audette’s goal came after defenseman Brady Keeper tied the tilt with 54 seconds left in regulation. Anthony Greco scored a goal and drew assists on both Keeper and Audette’s markers. Henrik Borgstrom also lit the lamp for Springfield. Joel Lowry, Tommy Cross, Matt Mangene, Will Lochead and Blaine Byron contributed assists to the cause. Philippe Desrosiers finished the game with 29 saves.

In ECHL action, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits suffered back-to-back losses on home ice to the Carolina Stingrays this weekend.

The Stingrays blanked the Swamp Rabbits 4-0 on Friday night. Ryan Bednard stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced in the game to fall to 3-4 on the season.

Carolina eked out  a 3-2 shootout win on Saturday night to complete the sweep. Bednard started again and made 30 stops. No Panthers or Thunderbirds prospects figured in the scoring.