Recap: Islanders 6, Amerks 5 (OT)Mar 27, 2022
Chris Terry’s 600th career point in the American Hockey League was the overtime-winning goal on Sunday, which lifted the Bridgeport Islanders (27-25-6-4, .516) to their fourth straight win and pushed their unbeaten in regulation streak to a season-high seven games (6-0-1-0). The Islanders bounced back from two different two-goal deficits to earn a 6-5 victory against the Rochester Americans (30-24-5-3, .548) at Blue Cross Arena.
Terry was one of four Bridgeport players to record at least two points in the contest, joining Austin Czarnik (one goal, two assists), Robin Salo (one goal, two assists) and Arnaud Durandeau (one goal, one assist). Salo (seven) and Paul LaDue (nine) each produced a career high in shots-on-goal, as the Islanders fired a season-high 46 against Americans netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
With the win, the Islanders moved into a tie for sixth place in the Atlantic Division standings with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (64 points in 62 games).
The Amerks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with a pair of goals in the opening 3:38 from forwards Jack Quinn and Mark Jankowski. Quinn scored his team-leading 22nd goal just 1:35 into the game when he received Jankowski’s pass, cut through the left circle, and buried a forehand shot past the glove of Jakub Skarek (16-11-4), who backstopped his third consecutive win. Jankowski followed with a power-play goal just over two minutes later on a top-shelf blast above the left circle during a five-on-three sequence.
The Islanders rallied with the next three goals to grab a 3-2 advantage heading into the intermission. Salo recorded his fourth goal of the season at the 6:06 mark with a wrist shot just inside the back post following a touch-pass from Andy Andreoff. Cole Bardreau redirected home Jeff Kubiak’s brilliant diagonal pass to tie the game at 12:08 before Arnaud Durandeau scored his third goal in four games, and his 15th of the season, at 15:09. Durandeau cleaned up a rebound near the right post after Otto Koivula ripped a shot at Luukkonen near the bottom of the left circle.
The pendulum continued to swing in the second period as the Amerks caught fire and scored each of the next three goals, including their second on the man advantage from J.J. Peterka. Arttu Ruotsalainen, who had one goal and two assists for Rochester, guided a pass to the goal line for Brett Murray, who quickly bumped the puck to the doorstep for Peterka’s one-time finish. Peterka’s 17th of the season tied the game at 3-3 at 12:19 of the middle frame.
Ruotsalainen drove a slapshot past Skarek’s glove in the final 34 seconds of the second period to make it 4-3 before he set up Linus Weissbach for a tap-in goal at the doorstep just 3:20 into the third. The Amerks carried their 5-3 lead into the final four minutes of regulation.
Another string of three straight goals from the Islanders not only extended their point streak to seven games, but kept the club perfect to start their road trip (3-0-0-0). Czarnik’s ninth goal of the season was deflected past Luukkonen on Salo’s lengthy wrist shot with just 3:57 to play. It gave Bridgeport an added boost down the stretch and Michael Dal Colle tied the game with less than seven seconds remaining, forcing home a rebound after Salo fired a heavy shot that bounced off of Luukkonen’s glove. Dal Colle’s eighth goal of the season, and his first since Jan. 9th, came on a 6-on-5 attack with Skarek watching from the bench.
In overtime, Czarnik created a 2-on-0 breakaway with a stretch off the boards that Vande Sompel settled and then handed to Terry for a one-time finish, his 600th AHL point (255 goals, 345 assists).
The Islanders went 0-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty kill in a game that was watched by 6,308 fans.
Skarek made 25 saves.
Next Time Out: The Islanders complete a four-game road trip next Saturday with a 6:05 p.m. matchup against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The game can be heard online through the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, or seen via AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 5:45 p.m.