SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- The Springfield Thunderbirds were over 750 miles away Saturday facing off with the Charlotte Checkers for Game 3 of the Atlantic Division Finals.
And the community gathered in Springfield and cheered the T-birds on after a clean sweep of the series following Saturday’s 5-1 win.
“What brings me here tonight are the Thunderbirds and I’m most excited for them kicking the Checkers butts,” said Donna Papoui of Springfield.
The Thunderbirds are currently undefeated. Saturday’s game determined whether or not they would go straight to the semifinals or not. So tensions were high and fans were ready to see the Thunderbirds win and advance.
“A magical season has happened like anything better than anything that I’ve ever seen with any team in this area,” said Anthony Shea of Springfield. “I have to say this is the best hockey team we’ve ever had in Springfield.”
Shea and his family are all season ticket holders. He told 22News they love coming to the games and gathering with the community for some great hockey.
An away game in Charlotte or some thunderstorms didn’t prevent Thunderbirds fans from taking the stands to cheer on their home team. Many saying that the thunderstorms at home will help the T-birds bring the thunder to the ice.
Many people gathered on lawn chairs and at tables with friends and families.
“We are all out here,” said Christopher Cincotti of West Springfield. “It doesn’t matter if it’s rain or shine, we’re out here with our jerseys on we’re out here all supporting the team that we love and we’ll support them and care for them. And we want them to make it to the end.”
The Thunderbirds will face the Laval Rocket out of Quebec, Canada in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Game 1 is Saturday, June 4 at the MassMutual Center.