Recap: Islanders 4, Checkers 3 (OT)Dec 16, 2023
Robin Salo scored his second overtime winner of the season on Saturday night, capping a remarkable come-from-behind victory as the Bridgeport Islanders (7-16-1-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, defeated the Charlotte Checkers (13-10-2-0), 4-3, at Bojangles Coliseum.
Kyle MacLean and William Dufour each recorded a clutch third-period goal and added one assist, while Tyce Thompson had two assists, including Salo’s setup on the game-winning goal at 1:46 of overtime. Bridgeport trailed Charlotte 3-1 entering the third period.
Ken Appleby (4-4-0) made 25 saves.
Karson Kuhlman put the Islanders ahead 11:19 into the contest with a power-play goal from MacLean and Dufour. MacLean brushed the puck to Dufour behind the goal line, creating space for Dufour to turn and center a pass for Kuhlman between the circles. Kuhlman blew a rising shot over Spencer Knight’s (8-4-2) glove for his fifth goal of the season to make it 1-0.
The Checkers responded with back-to-back power-play goals of their own to take a 2-1 lead midway through the second period. Both came off the stick of forward Justin Sourdif, who tied the game with less than four seconds left in the first and put Charlotte ahead at 8:15 of the second.
Michael Benning tossed an unassuming shot towards the net from the right wing at 19:43 of the second, which pinballed off two Islanders and in to extend Charlotte’s advantage. From there, the Islanders found their spark.
MacLean began Bridgeport’s largest comeback of the season with his sixth goal of the year just 1:30 into the third to make it 3-2. Dufour leveled the score at the 8:58 mark, burying his second goal of the season and his second point of the night. Otto Koivula danced over the blue line and drew four Checkers to him before handing the puck to Dufour in the right circle. Dufour’s wrist shot deflected off a Charlotte stick and past Knight.
In overtime, the Islanders pushed up ice and Tyce Thompson crossed in to set up Salo from the left circle. Salo rifled a hard wrist shot past Knight’s blocker to end the game and break Bridgeport’s 11-game skid on the road. All three of Salo’s goals his season have been game winners.
The Islanders went 1-for-5 on the power play and 0-for-2 on the penalty kill. Bridgeport outshot Charlotte 37-28.
Next Time Out: The Islanders continue their six-game road trip next Friday with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Hartford Wolf Pack at XL Center. The game can be seen live on AHLTV.com or heard for free via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, beginning with the Connecticut Lottery Pregame Countdown at 6:45 p.m.