Recap: Thunderbirds 3, Islanders 1Dec 4, 2022
Samuel Bolduc put the Bridgeport Islanders (13-4-4-0) in striking distance and ended a shutout bid in the final minute of regulation, but the New York Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate suffered a 3-1 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds (8-10-0-4) at Total Mortgage Arena on Sunday.
The loss snapped Bridgeport’s three-game win streak, its seven-game unbeaten in regulation streak, and its four-game win streak at home.
Springfield’s Joel Hofer (5-7-3) made 33 saves to snap his seven-game winless skid. Bridgeport is 2-1-1-0 against the Thunderbirds this season.
After a flurry of penalties in the first period, Springfield’s Matthew Highmore scored a power-play goal on a rebound ahead of Jakub Skarek (4-3-3) to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead. Highmore’s fifth goal of the season, and his third point in his last two games against the Islanders, was assisted by Nikita Alexandrov and Hugh McGing at the 13:28 mark.
Neither team lit the lamp in the second period despite 17 combined shots on goal. The Islanders generated several key chances that Hofer turned away, but Springfield killed the momentum just 15 seconds into the third period when Greg Printz broke free on a delayed penalty and beat Skarek on a breakaway, making it 2-0.
The Islanders played with a 6-on-5 advantage in the final minute having pulled Skarek. It paid off at 19:10 when Bolduc rifled a shot through traffic that made its way Hofer despite a broken stick. It was Bolduc’s third goal of the season and his 19th point, tied with Chris Terry and Andy Andreoff for the team lead.
Alexey Toropchenko terminated any chance of a Bridgeport comeback in the final second with an empty-net goal for the 3-1 final.
Skarek made 16 saves in his 10th appearance of the season, while Bridgeport’s power play went 0-for-4.