Thunderbirds Beat Bears 4-1

The Hershey Bears fell to the Springfield Thunderbirds 4-1 Sunday afternoon at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. The loss drops the Bears record to 11-15-0-2. The Bears are back in action Wednesday night when they face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Allentown. Puck drop is 7:05PM. 

Vitek Vanecek (5-4-2-1) started in goal for the visiting Bears. Samuel Montembeault (9-4-2, 2.89 GAA, .909 sv%) started between the pipes for the Thunderbirds. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears: (Beck Malenstyn returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension). [Note: Connor Hobbs was a late scratch, replaced by Jake Linhart).

Scratches: Connor Hobbs (upper body injury), Lucas Johansen (upper body injury), Kris Bindulis (upper body injury), Shane Gersich (upper body injury), Steve Whitney and Mason Mitchell.

The Thunderbirds would strike first with a power play tally from Sebastian Repo at 6:09 of the opening frame. Vanecek made at least two saves, but was unable to stop the puck, as there were just too many net-front T-Birds.

That would be all of the scoring in the opening frame. The Bears outshot the Thunderbirds 10-9 for the first 20 minutes. The Bears were 0 for 2 and the Thunderbirds 1 for 2 on the power play.

The Thunderbirds would stretch their lead to 2-0 with another power play goal, this time Anthony Greco would slam one home from the right side for the tally.

The Bears would strike back. Juuso Ikonen Grant Besse would clean-up the loose change at 5:25 of the second period, cutting the Thunderbirds lead to 2-1. Jusso Ikonen and Jayson Megna (6) were credited with the helpers. (Scoring change after game).

But the Thunderbirds would restore their two-goal margin with Anthony Greco’s second goal of the game at 12:53 of the middle frame. Greco would clean-up a juicy rebound and finish glove side on Vanecek.

The Thunderbirds would make it 4-1 with a goal from Jake Horton at 18:22 of the middle frame.

The second period would end with the Thunderbirds leading 4-1. The Bears outshot the Thunderbirds 15-10 for the middle stanza, and led 25-19 after 40 minutes of play. The Bears were 0 for 4 and the Thunderbirds 2 for 4 on the power play after 40 minutes.

The Bears and Thunderbirds would skate to a scoreless final frame, as Springfield would hold on fore the 4-1 win.

The Thunderbirds outshot the Bears 7-4 in the final frame.



  • Steve Johnson made his AHL debut in this game.
  • The Bears outshot Springfield 29-26 for the game.
  • Riley Barber led the Bears in shots with 6 for the game.
  • The last time the Bears lost in regulation in Springfield was back in 2008.
  • Attendance: 3.314
  • The AHL box score is here.


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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