Recap: Islanders 3, Thunderbirds 2Nov 5, 2023
Robin Salo had two points including the game-winning goal on Sunday afternoon, as the Bridgeport Islanders (3-5-1-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, came from behind to defeat the Springfield Thunderbirds (6-5-0-0) in regulation, 3-2, at Total Mortgage Arena.
Samuel Asselin also scored his third goal in the last four games and Matthew Maggio recorded a goal for the third straight home game. Ken Appleby (1-2-0) made 17 saves in his 100th AHL appearance.
The Islanders outshot the Thunderbirds 36-19 en route to their first regulation win this season and their first victory against an Atlantic Division opponent. Springfield’s five-game winning streak came to an end.
The Thunderbirds broke the ice 8:40 into the contest with a shorthanded tally from Nathan Walker, finishing off a two-on-one rush with a wrist shot from the left circle. It sailed blocker side on Appleby.
Bridgeport retaliated nearly eight minutes later when Asselin notched the equalizer to make it 1-1. Asselin forced a turnover along the right half-wall and snapped a shot past Vadim Zherenko (4-2-0), whose three-game winning streak came to an end. Seth Helgeson and William Dufour assisted on the play.
Just five minutes into the second period, Walker scored his second goal of the game to make it 2-1 Springfield, this time on the power play. He redirected a Joseph Duszak shot from the point. It was Walker’s fourth goal of the weekend and seventh of the season after a two-goal performance against Belleville on Friday.
Maggio registered the tying goal off a rebound in the crease at 12:02 of the third period, following Salo’s drive from the point that produced a second chance. Kyle MacLean registered the secondary assist on Maggio’s third goal of the season.
A little more than two minutes later, Salo cleaned up Karson Kuhlman’s power move to the net and tapped home the game-winning goal, completing the comeback. It was his second goal of the season, both game winners.
Next Time Out: The Bridgeport Islanders continue a four-game homestand next Friday night with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Hartford Wolf Pack at Total Mortgage Arena. It’s the inaugural Pucks and Pies Night! Take advantage of a special ticket package that includes access to a pre-game pizza tasting event from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., featuring slices from local CT pizzerias such as Sally’s Apizza, Frank Pepe’s, and Fire Engine Pizza Co.