Springfield Thunderbirds welcome guest hockey stars ahead of weekend games


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – An East Longmeadow native who now plays in the NHL, and a legendary Olympic hockey hero, are both guests of the Springfield Thunderbirds this weekend.

The festivities begin with a meet and greet for the Florida Panthers’ Frank Vatrano. He’ll meet with fans beginning at 6 p.m., Friday.

Then on Saturday night, The Thunderbirds will put aside their traditional Jerseys and instead wear a replica of the Jerseys worn by the World Champion U.S. Olympic Hockey team in 1980. Team Captain Mike Eruzione will be there for the fans.

Nathan Costa, president of the Springfield Thunderbirds, told 22News, “It’ll be a great night all around. Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 miracle team is coming out to celebrate hometown heroes, he’s a hometown hero, here in Massachusetts.”

On January 25th, 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey captain and gold medalist Mike Eruzione will be at Saturday’s game. Eruzione will take part in the Hometown Heroes Night to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice.”

The thunderbirds game on Friday starts at 7 p.m. against the Utica Comet, while Saturday’s game starts at 7:05 p.m. against the Scranton Penguins.

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