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Thunderbirds slash Wolves in Game 1 of Calder Cup Finals

Fans gather to watch Thunderbirds face the Wolves in Game 1 of the Calder Cup
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 12:15 AM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -The Springfield Thunderbirds faced off against the Chicago Wolves in Game 1 of the Calder Cup finals Sunday afternoon.

It marked the first time a team from Springfield competed in the AHL’s championship since 1991.

With Springfield playing 900 miles away in Chicago, fans continued to support their team from western Mass. at MGM Springfield.

Western Mass News spoke with one fan who recalled the last time Springfield hoisted the cup and hopes his niece will be able to experience that same thrill.

“We’ve taken her to some games she really gets into it, I was actually around to see the last Calder Cup so hopefully she’ll get to see that,” said Thunderbirds fan Brandon O’Connor.

It was an instant classic today with the T-Birds coming out on top. Matthew Kessel played the role of the hometown hero. The UMass-Amherst alum scored his first professional goal and it could *not have come on a bigger stage.

The final score: Springfield 5, Chicago 4.

The Thunderbirds erased a two-goal deficit in the third period, scoring three unanswered goals to close out Game 1 and steal home-ice advantage from the Wolves, who finished the regular season with the most points and highest winning percentage in the AHL.

Springfield now sits just three wins away from a title. Game 2 is slated for Monday night at 8:00, that game is in Chicago before the series returns to the 413 on Wednesday night.