Recap: Islanders 4, Thunderbirds 3 (OT)Jan 23, 2022
Chris Terry’s overtime heroics lifted the Bridgeport Islanders (15-18-3-4) to victory on Sunday, capping a 4-3 win in come-from-behind fashion against the Springfield Thunderbirds (19-12-4-1) at Webster Bank Arena.
Terry was one of four players who scored one goal and added an assist, a list that also included Otto Koivula, Andy Andreoff and Thomas Hickey. Jakub Skarek (12-8-3) made 25 saves to earn his fifth consecutive victory for the New York Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate.
Springfield opened the scoring with Nathan Walker’s power-play goal at 11:28 of the first period. It was the first of two goals in the contest for Walker, who skated to the back post and redirected Hugh McGing’s centering pass for his ninth goal of the season.
The tally came just 16 seconds after Koivula was called for cross-checking, but Koivula made up for his early penalty by tying the game at 1-1 less than two minutes later. He tipped home Parker Wotherspoon’s long shot from the blue line for his second goal in as many days at 13:03.
Sam Anas gave the Thunderbirds a 2-1 advantage at 4:01 of the second period when Tommy Cross purposely fired a slap shot off the end boards, which bounced back to the goal line. Anas quickly flipped a forehand wrist shot into the top right corner of the net past Skarek’s glove.
Hickey drew the contest back even at 14:37 of the middle frame with his second goal of the season. Jeff Kubiak cleanly won a faceoff back to the veteran defenseman, where he pulled up in the deep slot and cranked a one-timer behind goaltender Joel Hofer. Andreoff followed with second power-play goal of the season and seventh overall to put Bridgeport ahead 3-2 at the 16:34 mark. Koivula found Andreoff in the slot for quick trigger that resulted in the go-ahead goal.
The lead was short lived however, as Walker gathered a stretch pass from Cross at 17:53 of the second period and beat Skarek’s blocker on the breakaway. It was the third assist of the afternoon for Cross, who helped tie the game at 3-3.
Neither team found the back of the net in the third period and Bridgeport headed to overtime for the 12th time this season. In the extra session, Koivula had a breakaway chance early, but was denied by Hofer’s right pad. Springfield came back with a 2-on-1 rush that Skarek answered with the blocker.
Terry won the game at the 1:15 mark, skating to the back post and calling for Thomas Hickey’s centering pass, which he received and converted for his team-leading 13th goal of the season.
The Islanders went 1-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill. Bridgeport outshot Springfield 30-23.