Thunderbirds host annual Ok-T-Bird-Fest, defeated by Penguins on Saturday | News


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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)–Saturday was hockey night in Springfield and fans are excited about the Thunderbirds’ hot start, propelling the team to the top of the Atlantic Division.

Western Mass News was at the MassMutual Center to catch all the action.

“It means so much to me, I met so many great people through here I made so many great friends and it’s my home roots,” said Robert Everson of Easthampton.

Hockey is more than just a game to Robert Everson of Easthampton, who told Western Mass News he’s rarely missed a T-Birds game in Springfield over the last five years.

After the team opted out of the 2020-21 season, it’s that much sweeter for him to be back in the building.

“It’s given us a new shine of life,” said Everson.

Springfield’s AHL franchise hosted their third annual Ok-T-Bird-Fest, featuring 19 local breweries at the MassMutual center Saturday night. Thunderbirds President Nate Costa said the team sold over 500 tickets Saturday alone, for the team’s game against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

“A lot of people look forward to this at the end of October, it’s our third one and we’re packing it in here today which is awesome,” said Costa.

One fan told Western Mass News he hasn’t missed one yet.

“I like it, I like the vendors this year they have a lotta good selections so it seems every year they get better and better,” said fan Brian Battles.

the T-Birds are flying high this season after winning four out of the first five games to start their 2021-22 campaign.

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“We got a really good core of veteran guys, they’re teaching the young guys how to be pros. it’s an exciting brand of hockey,” said Costa.

For Everson, a diehard Springfield Hockey fan, it’s his first year watching the Thunderbirds play since he lost his grandmother and he’s keeping her legacy alive, with the help of two special rally monkeys.

“I bought the same tickets. I have the same two seats, I’m keeping her seat. And I got to keep the tradition alive that’s how we keep things alive here in Springfield,“ said Everson.

For Costa, he’s excited to have fans packing the arena watching a talented hockey team return to the ice.

“The team has come out, they’re playing hard and there’s a lot of town here so to come on out and watch winning hockey it’s been great,” said Costa.

As for Saturday’s game, the Thunderbirds were defeated by the Penguins with a final score of

The Thunderbirds are back at home Sunday at 2:05 p.m. when they face off against the Charlotte Checkers.

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