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In the Pipeline: Storybook Start for Springfield

Springfield wins sold-out home opener, college Cats put up numbers & more

by Mike Lewis /

The story of the Springfield Thunderbirds inaugural home opener couldn't have been written any better. 
In front of a sell-out crowd of 6,793, the Thunderbirds defeated the St. John's IceCaps in a 5-4 overtime thriller at the MassMutual Center.

Forward Dryden Hunt scored the first T-Birds goal on a sharp angle shot to tie the game 1-1 before the IceCaps jumped ahead to a 3-1 lead. In a wild third period, Paul Thompson got Springfield within one, but St. John's was able to pull ahead 4-2. 

Four minutes later, the resilient home squad responded with two goals in a 1:27 span. Ian McCoshen scored his first professional career goal and Hunt followed right after, tying the game with his second tally of the night. In overtime, defenseman MacKenzie Weegar sealed the game for Springfield to give the team it's very first regular season win at home.

Weegar (1-1-2) was named the game's first star, while Hunt (2-1-3) and Thompson (1-1-2) were named the second and third stars respectively. 

Hunt and Weegar each currently lead the team with four points, while Hunt leads Springfield with three goals and ranks tied for second among AHL rookies in goals. Here's Hunt's goal, courtesy of Mass Live's Conor Ryan.

Watch: Youtube Video 

Reto Berra collected his second win of the season for the T-Birds, earning a shutout on the road on Oct. 21 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Berra turned aside all 23 shots faced. Ryan Horvat scored the lone T-Birds goal in their 1-0 win over the Baby Pens. Berra owns a 2-0-0 record this season with a 0.50 goals against average and a 0.976 save percentage.

College Cats

2016 first round pick Henrik Borgstrom (Denver University) has recorded six points (3-3-6) in six games this season with the Pioneers. The Finnish freshman is on a three-game point streak and recorded a goal and two assists in two games at Michigan State this past weekend. 

2015 fifth round pick Karch Bachman (Miami University-Ohio) notched his first two college career points with two assists this past weekend against fellow Panthers prospect Patrick Shea and the University of Maine. Shea has recorded four points (2-2-4) in six games this season with the Maine Blackbears. 

2014 fourth rounder Joe Wegwerth scored twice for Notre Dame on Saturday vs. Penn State. Wegwerth has three points (2-1-3) in five games this season.

Stonewall Sam

Sam Montembeault has continued his torrid start to the 2016-17 QMJHL campaign, earning his second shutout of the season on Saturday against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, stopping all 27 shots faced. Montembeault has posted a 6-1-0 record over his first seven games of the season with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, earning a league-best 1.41 goals against average and 0.945 save percentage. The Quebec City, Quebec native's two shutouts tie him for the league lead.

Mascherin on Fire

Cats 2016 second rounder Adam Mascherin currently ranks among the top scorers in the Ontario Hockey League this season. The Kitchener Rangers forward has been tearing up the OHL since the season began, racking up 23 points (7-16-23) in only 11 games. Mascherin ranks tied for second in points (23), tied for first in assists (16) and first in the league for power play goals (5). Kitchener's top point producer enters the week on a two-game goal streak and seven-game point streak that began with an OHL-career four-point performance (1-3-4) on Oct. 10. 
On Tuesday, Mascherin was named to Team OHL in the CHL Canada vs Russia Series

Tweet from @OHLRangers: .@amascherin_23 to play for Team #OHL in 2016 @CIBC #CANvsRUS Series. DETAILS:

Click here to download the full prospect report PDF.

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