Thunderbirds Cage Bears 5-2; Alex Alexeyev Scores Second Career AHL Goal

Photo: @ThunderbirdsAHL

The Springfield Thunderbirds beat the Hershey Bears 5-2 Wednesday evening at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Thunderbirds would strike first early in the opening frame and add a power play tally midway through the period for a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. Springfield would add two more goals in the middle frame to double their lead to 4-0 at the second intermission. Alex Alexeyev would get the Bears on the scoreboard early in the final frame. Phil Maillet would add another goal for the Bears late in the final frame to make it 4-2, but the Thunderbirds would follow with an empty net goal for the 5-2 final.

The loss drops the Bears record to 25-14-2-3 (55 points) on the season.The Bears remain tied with the Hartford Wolf Pack for first place in the Atlantic Division. Hartford has two games in hand.

STARTERS
Vitek Vanecek (13-7-1-1, 2.37 GAA, .910 sv%) started between the pipes for the visiting Bears. Ryan Bednard (1-0-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .973 sv%) got the start in goal for the Thunderbirds. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

Scratches: Mike Sgarbossa (lower-body injury, day-to-day), Joe Snively (upper-body injury, week-to-week), Steve Whitney (upper body injury, week-to-week), Lucas Johansen and Connor Hobbs were the injury scratches. Kale Kessy, Kody ClarkEddie Whitchow and Chris McCarthy were the healthy scratches. Matt Weis was recalled from South Carolina on Friday.

FIRST PERIOD
The Thunderbirds would get the scoring started with a goal from Jonathan Ang (5) at 3:25 of the opening frame.

The Thunderbirds would make it 2-0 with a power play goal from Aleksi Saarela (10) at 13:20 of the first period. The goal came just as a Thunderbirds 5-on-3 power play expired. You can see Burgdoerfer just skating into the play after the score.

The first period would conclude with the T-Birds leading 2-0. Springfield led in SOG 15-8 for the first period. Springfield was 1 for 2 on the power play in the first frame. The Bears did not have a power play.

SECOND PERIOD
The Thunderbirds would extend their lead with a tally from Daniel Audette (9) at 15:14 of the second period, making it 3-0.

The Thunderbirds would make it 4-0 with Jonathan Ang’s second of the game at 16:24 of the second period.

The second period would conclude with the Thunderbirds leading 4-0. Bears led in shots on goal 11-9 for the middle frame, with Springfield leading 24-19 after two periods. There were no penalties called in the middle frame.

THIRD PERIOD
The Bears would finally get on the board with a tally from Alex Alexeyev (2) at 1:46 of the final frame, making it 4-1. The goal came when the Bears were on a 6-on-5. Tyler Lewington (6) and Matt Moulson (15) had the helpers.

The Bears would make it 4-2 with a 6-on-5 goal from Phil Maillet (9) at 17:17 of the final frame. Garrett Pilon (13) and Alex Alexeyev (14) had the helpers.

The Thunderbirds would add an empty net goal for the 5-2 final.

The Bears will have the day off on Thursday before the same two teams faceoff again on Friday. Puck drop is set for just after 7:00 pm.

SHAVINGS

  • AHL box score
  • Attendance: 3,368
  • Hershey led in shots 36-27 for the game.
  • Vitek Vanecek stopped 22 of 26 for an .846 game save percentage.
  • Garrett Pilon led the Bears in shots with 5.
  • Springfield was 1 for 2 and Hershey 0 for 0 on the power play.
  • Garrett Pilon had goals in three straight games entering the contest.
  • Hershey is 8-9-1-1 on the road so far this season.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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