SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Playoff fever is sweeping through Springfield’s community of hockey fans.

The Thunderbirds announced they will open their first-ever Calder Cup Playoff series against the Wilkes-Barre and Hershey.

Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa told 22News, the team’s many fans are all psyched up for the return of Calder Cup competition to the MassMutual Center ice, “It’s been a long time coming. The last time Springfield was in the playoffs was in 2014, we took the team over in 2016. And to finally deliver a playoff… everybody is talking about it in town.”

Springfield will host the Penguins at the MassMutual Center on the following dates:

  • Game 1 – Wednesday, May 11, 7:05 p.m.
  • Game 2 – Thursday, May 12, 7:05 p.m.
  • Game 5* (if necessary) – Wednesday, May 18, 7:05 p.m.

The T-birds will have home-ice advantage in the Best-of-5 series.