The Thunderbirds are back on the ice!

Published: Oct. 15, 2022 at 10:13 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2022 at 10:43 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) -On Saturday, the Thunderbirds took to the ice for the first time as reigning AHL Eastern Conference Champions.

Western Mass News spoke to some of the fans before the big game.

Courtney Caruso from Southwick said, “We are very excited! It feels like it’s been a long time since we were here for the playoffs.”

The reigning AHL Eastern Conference Champions took on the Bridgeport Islanders.

Many of the fans told Western Mass News the excitement for the team has only grown since last year’s playoffs.

An East Longmeadow resident said, “Last year I really got into hockey, especially the thunderbirds and I can’t wait! Every time there’s a game my aunt takes me and I’m like “yes!”

Last season the Thunderbirds went 43-24 and were only 3 wins shy of the team’s first Calder Cup title.

And this year, many fans are hoping the team will take it all the way and bring the title home.

“We came here for both games of the finals last year. Not the outcome we wanted but maybe we will come back this year,” said Jake Rooney of Enfield, CT, “Hopefully, we’ll win the Calder Cup this year!”

“This year I expect the thunderbirds are going to have a better record, personally because of the fact that they played so well last year and they have even better players this year,” said James Codding of Springfield.