Kyle Rau made some history this past weekend.
On Feb. 4, Rau scored not only his first career hat trick but also entered the record books as the first ever Springfield Thunderbirds player to score three goals in a game.
Rau's three-goal night propelled the Thunderbirds to a 5-2 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday night. The native of Eden Prairie, Minn., scored an even-strength goal in each period.
Rau's three goals were scored on a team-leading five shots. Over his last five games, he has recorded six points (4-2-6). The former University of Minnesota captain's eight goals tie him with Chase Balisy for first among all Springfield forwards.
T-BIRDS FALL IN OT
On Feb. 7, the Thunderbirds fell 4-3 in OT to the Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena. 2017 AHL All-Star and Springfield's leading goal scorer MacKenzie Weegar opened the scoring for the T-Birds on the power play with his 10th tally of the season.
In the second period, Balisy, Springfield's leading point scorer lit the lamp on the power play to tie the game 2-2.
At 19:10 of the third period Paul Thompson scored to force the game into overtime, notching his first goal since returning to Springfield.
Mike McKenna played in relief of Reto Berra, making 30 saves in the process, before the Sound Tigers sealed the game in OT.
Balisy (1-1-2), Thompson (1-1-2), Weegar (1-1-2) and Denis Malgin (0-2-2) all registered multi-point games. Jayce Hawryluk recorded an assist on Balisy's goal, registering his fifth point (3-2-5) over his last six games.
In his rookie season, Ian McCoshen is one of only four Springfield defensemen to play at least 40 games and ranks second among all T-Birds blueliners with a plus-five rating. FloridaPanthers.com's Jameson Olive recently spoke to the 21-year old Boston College alum about how he is developing his game with the Thunderbirds.
Check out the story here.
READY TO RUMBLE
The Panthers will host their first-ever Pro Wrestling Night on Thursday against the LA Kings, featuring Tommy Dreamer, Jay Reso (FKA Christian) and WWE Hall of Famer Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat.
The Thunderbirds are bringing a legend of the squared circle to the Mass Mutual Center themselves with Steamboat's longtime rival, WWE Hall of Famer "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
If you haven't seen Thunderbirds goalie Mike McKenna pay homage to the 16-time World Champion check it out here.
LEADING THE ARMADA
Samuel Montembeault made 18 saves for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada to earn his league-leading fourth shutout of the season (QMJHL) on Feb. 3 vs. Drummondville. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada goaltender's fourth shutout of the season set a new career-high. The 20-year old earned an assist the next night (on the power play) in his win against Val-d'Or (Feb. 4) and earned his seventh win over his last nine games. His assist is the fifth of his QMJHL career during regular season play.
Montembeault ranks fourth in the league in goals against average (2.58), tied for fourth in wins (19) and fifth in save percentage (0.905).
THE ARTIST PAINTS ANOTHER MASTERPIECE
Denver University's Henrik Borgstrom currently leads the Pioneers with 14 goals and is tied for first in scoring on the team with 25 points (14-11-25). The 19-year old notched a goal and an assist on Jan. 27 vs. Nebraska-Omaha, registering his eighth multi-point game of the season. The Finnish Freshman scored on the power play in the second period to tie the game 2-2, before setting up Dylan Gambrell to put the Pioneers ahead shortly after.
SETTING A NEW CAREER-HIGH IN STYLE
Adam Mascherin had a two-point night (1-1-2) on Feb. 7 vs. Niagara to tie and then pass his OHL career-best in points (35-46-81, 2015-16). To no surprise, his 32nd goal of the season and 82nd point of the season was an exciting one. Mascherin's goal was the OT-game winner, helping his Kitchener Rangers snap a four-game losing streak in the process.
Mascherin has scored 82 points (32-50-82) this season in 49 games and notched his 81 points last season in 65 games. The Panthers 2016 second round pick has recorded two consecutive multi-point games and currently ranks tied for second in points in the OHL, while ranking second in assists, power play assists (24), third in power play goals (12) and fourth in goals.
ICYMI: Mascherin was named the OHL's Player of the Month for January
Panthers 2016 seventh rounder Ben Finkelstein recorded two assists in St. Lawrence's Jan. 28 game vs. Union. Over the freshman defenseman's last nine games, he has recorded nine points (3-6-9) and ranks second among the team's blueliners in scoring with 19 points (5-14-19) over 29 games.
On Feb. 7 against Colgate, Matt Buckles scored his sixth goal of the season for Cornell. The goal marked his second consecutive game with a goal and more importantly his NCAA career-best 12th point of the season. The senior forward has now set a career-high in assists (6) and points (12) this season.
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