Zherenko makes 33 stops as T-Birds defeat Charlotte

Story By: Matthew Wiernasz

Photo Courtesy of the Springfield Thunderbirds

SPRINGFIELD, MA- The Springfield Thunderbirds defeated the Charlotte Checkers for the second time in a week on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center in front of a sellout crowd by the final score of 4-1.

The T-Birds fourth line got on the board in the first period with 9:14 remaining in the first period as Greg Printz fired the one-timer and Drew Callin was able to put the puck into the net to make it 1-0.

Matthew Highmore extended the lead for the Thunderbirds 17 seconds into the second period as he grabbed the loose puck and scored.  Martin Frk received the assist and earned his 300th AHL point.

Riley Nash scored for the Checkers with 17:15 remaining in the second period as he redirected a shot on the power play to make the score 2-1.

The Thunderbirds extended the lead as Adam Gaudette fired the shot and Mikhail Abramov was able to put in the rebound with 17:24 remaining in regulation to make it 3-1.

Martin Frk scored the final goal of the night for the Thunderbirds as he scored on the rebound from a Matt Kessel shot to make it 4-1.

The T-Bird’s three-game winning streak came to an end on Sunday as they lost to the Bridgeport Islanders 3-0 at Total Mortgage Arena.

Thunderbirds goaltender Joel Hofer was named the AHL Player Of The Week. The League made the announcement on Monday.  Hofer stopped 57 out of 58 shots during his two starts over the weekend.

The Springfield Thunderbirds return to action tonight for the first of three games this week as they will face their I-91 rival the Hartford Wolf Pack at the MassMutual Center.  The Wolf Pack come to the Thunderdome tonight after losing to the Charlotte Checkers 6-3 on Sunday afternoon at the XL Center.

The T-Birds will also take on the Providence Bruins on Friday and the Laval Rocket on Saturday for Pink In The Rink at the MassMutual Center.  Both games will begin at 7:05 p.m.

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