Recap: Islanders 4, Thunderbirds 3 (OT)Oct 23, 2021
Robin Salo’s first goal in North America came 4:10 into overtime on Saturday, capping a remarkable come-from-behind victory as the Bridgeport Islanders (1-2-0-2), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, earned a 4-3 win against the Springfield Thunderbirds (3-0-1-0) in their home opener at Webster Bank Arena.
Michael Dal Colle (one goal, one assist) and Austin Czarnik (two assists) each recorded a multi-point night, while Jakub Skarek (1-1-1) made 29 saves. The Islanders scored each of the final four goals to respond from a three-goal deficit.
Springfield took the lead at 12:05 of the first period when Scott Perunovich fed Mackenzie MacEachern in front, and he tapped the puck into an empty net to open his account for the season. Minutes later, Skarek made an important double save on the rush to keep the game at 1-0.
Springfield doubled its advantage at 9:49 of the second period when Logan Brown came down the wall before cutting in onto his backhand and beating Skarek in tight for his second of the year.
The third Thunderbirds goal came on the power play at 13:06 of the second period when Perunovich threw the puck in front and Nathan Walker redirected it into the net.
Dal Colle got Bridgeport on the board and started the furious comeback at 15:52 of the second. Czarnik mishit a one-timer on the power play and the puck came straight to Dal Colle in the slot where he beat Thunderbirds’ goalie Charlie Lindgren with a wrist shot on the glove side. It was his second goal of the season. Salo collected the secondary assist.
Bridgeport had another important kill early in the third before getting a power-play of their own, where the Islanders earned a goal when Simon Holmstrom found Otto Koivula with a cross ice pass. He put the puck in front for a streaking Arnaud Durandeau who scored his first goal of the season, bringing the Islanders within one.
The equalizer came with 7:04 left in the third when Chris Terry buried a one-timer from the top of the right circle for his team-leading third goal of the season. Czarnik and Dal Colle each logged an assist.
Czarnik almost gave Bridgeport the lead with four minutes to go, however, Lindgren made an outstanding glove save to keep the game level at three.
Bridgeport had a great chance in overtime when Andreoff fed Durandeau in front, however, Lindgren denied his point-blank effort before Salo won the game, receiving a drop pass from Andreoff, skating in on his backhand and then firing the puck past Lindgren.
Bridgeport went 2-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill, while outshooting Springfield 41-32.