Minor League Monday: Thunderbirds and Swamp Rabbits update
Ryan Bednard wins first pro start
On Friday, the Thunderbirds were beaten 1-0 by the host Hartford Wolf Pack. Phillip Di Giuseppe scored the lone goal and Igor Shesterkin made 36 saves for Hartford. Chris Driedger stopped 22 shots in the hard luck loss. Owen Tippett and Brady Keeper led the T-Birds with four shots on goal apiece.
Springfield bounced back with a 4-3 shootout win on the road over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday. Tommy Cross, Daniel Audette and Anthony Greco were the goal-scorers. Ethan Prow, Paul Thompson, Riley Stillman, Thomas Schemitsch, Blaine Byron and Dominic Toninato picked up assists. Audette and Kevin Roy converted in the seven-round shootout. Philippe Desrosiers finished the game with 38 saves to win his first in a Thunderbirds uniform.
The T-Birds (3-4-0) will soon benefit from the services of Henrik Borgstrom, who was sent down after the Florida Panthers signed Brian Boyle on Sunday. They play the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday and the Belleville Senators on Saturday and Rochester Americans on Sunday.
Greenville Swamp Rabbits
In ECHL action, Panthers goaltending prospect Ryan Bednard was a winner in his first professional start, making 27 saves as the Swamp Rabbits rolled to a 6-1 victory over the Jacksonville IceMen on home ice. Patrick Bajkov produced a goal and an assist. Springfield prospect Adam Rockwood scored two goals and added an assist, and fellow Thunderbirds prospect Liam Pecararo also tallied a goal in the Friday night decision.
On Saturday, the Swamp Rabbits dropped a 6-4 decision to the Atlanta Gladiators on the road. Bednard surrendered five goals on 31 shots and took the loss in relief for Callum Booth, who left midway through the first period. Bajkov scored a goal in the game as did Pecararo.
The Gladiators completed the two-game sweep with a 4-3 over the Swamp Rabbits (2-2) in Greenville on Sunday. Bednard took the loss, finishing with 30 saves on 34 shots. Bajkov scored for the third straight game and added an assist. Defenseman Jake Massie scored his first professional goal. Liam Pecararo produced a goal and a assist and Adam Rockwood chipped in a helper.