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Thunderbirds preparing for decisive Game 7 in AHL Eastern Conference Finals

The Springfield Thunderbirds are preparing for Wednesday’s all-or-nothing Game 7.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 3:48 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2022 at 4:45 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Springfield Thunderbirds came up short in Monday night’s opportunity to clinch an appearance in the Calder Cup Finals after losing Game 6 against the Laval Rocket 5-1. Now, the team prepares for Wednesday’s all-or-nothing Game 7.

After a gut-wrenching loss Monday in Game 6 of the AHL Eastern Conference Finals, it’s now do-or-die for the Thunderbirds as they take the ice Wednesday in Game 7 against the Rocket.

“Obviously, we wanted to try to get the job done last night and get onto the finals, but we get to host Game 7. It’s going to be a historic night hopefully,” said Springfield Thunderbirds President Nate Costa.

If the T-Birds win, they’ll go on to compete in the Calder Cup Finals for the first time. It will be the city’s first appearance in 31 years. Costa told Western Mass News that fan support will help get them there.

“Everyone loves a winning team,” Costa added.

The team’s fanbase is growing with already more full-season ticket holders for next year than there were this year and Costa said this doesn’t only benefit the team, but the entire city.

“If you look downtown yesterday, every single restaurant was packed. We had heard from Nadim’s, they were turning people away, and so this is all extra. This is all bonus being here in June playing hockey,” Costa noted.

Costa told us tickets for Game 7 are going fast and the team is ready to leave it all on the ice.

“We have to do our job and win on the ice, but it should be an awesome experience. I mean, there’s nothing like Game 7 and playoff hockey, especially at this level,” Costa explained.

While Costa can’t predict the final score, he knows one thing to be true.

“I know it’s going to be loud. The building has been loud all series and our fans have given us that advantage,” Costa said.

He admits it’s been a tough series, with the Thunderbirds and the Rocket evenly matched, but he’s leaning on the T-Bird’s track record, which suggests a good outcome.

“If the pattern goes according to how it’s gone, we’ve won on every other game win essentially, so hopefully we get the “W’ tomorrow night and we get on to the Calder Cup Finals for the first time in 31 years,” Costa said.

Puck drop for the decisive Game 7 is 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at the MassMutual Center.