SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – We don’t think there’s a fandom like the dedicated Thunderbirds fans, and pride was not lacking in Springfield ahead of Game 6.
“We showed up this morning and we had fans waiting to buy tickets this morning before we even opened our office,” said Nathan Costa, President of the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Springfield sports fans have spirit, and it was on full display during Game 6 of the Calder Cup Eastern Conference Finals as the Thunderbirds took the ice at home! Fandom from all over western Massachusetts funneled into the MassMutual Center. A sea of pom-poms and signs in the stands were present as fans gave a strong show of support for their favorite team.
“The city has embraced us from the start of the run, and it’s incredible,” said Costa.
It is something you see during every home game, plenty of fans right outside of the MassMutual Center, getting ready to cheer on their favorite team, the Thunderbirds. Some of them 22News spoke with said they feel like they’re family now.
“The fanbase grows! The bigger you can get a fanbase the more it’s going to help the team win the Calder Cup and that’s what it’s all about. The more fans you can get behind the team, the better their chances of winning. The more you can get in there and make the noise, it’s going to take our team to the end of it,” said Al Arment of West Springfield.
10-year-old Rilynn Gorczyca of Chicopee started a tradition of taking selfies with the T-Birds and then giving the players a copy with words of inspiration.
“Interacting with all of the players, it’s really fun to know that they would like to take a selfie with me and spend their time. It’s like so cool to take photos with them and get their autograph and just even come to the game!” said Rilynn Gorczyca.
The fans overall say they are proud of the historic playoff run for the Thunderbirds in the Calder Cup playoffs and hoped to clinch the win in Game 6.
“Skate hard, fight fast, and bring it on home! Go T-birds!” said Tomeka Ligon of Springfield.
Unfortunately, the T-Birds came up short, with the final score Monday was 5 to 1 in favor of the Laval Rocket. Game 7 will be this Wednesday at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.