Recap: Thunderbirds 3, Islanders 2 (OT)Mar 16, 2022
Cory Schneider made 42 saves and Chris Terry forced overtime with a power-play goal in the final minute of regulation on Wednesday, but the Bridgeport Islanders (23-25-6-4), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, came up short in a 3-2 setback to the Springfield Thunderbirds (32-17-5-2) at MassMutual Center.
Schneider (8-10-3) was terrific from start to finish, making 19 first-period saves and stopping another 14 in the third to help the Islanders earn one standings point. Terry and Kyle MacLean each scored a goal on Springfield’s Charlie Lindgren, who entered the contest ranked fifth in the AHL in goals-against-average (2.28).
The Islanders earned points in all three games during their recent road trip (2-0-1-0), which came against the top two teams in the Atlantic Division. They will face Springfield one more time this season on Apr. 22nd at home.
The opening period was heavily controlled by the Thunderbirds, who outshot Bridgeport 19-8 but failed to score against the dialed-in veteran. Schneider stopped all 19 shots he faced in the frame just three days after backstopping a 33-save shutout in Providence.
Dakota Joshua finally broke through for Springfield at 2:26 of the second, stealing the puck in Bridgeport’s zone and making the Islanders pay for a turnover at even strength. It was his third goal in 20 AHL games this season.
In a similar situation, MacLean answered nearly nine minutes later when he anticipated a pass in Springfield’s end, intercepted the puck, and scored on his own rebound from the doorstep. Another unassisted, even strength goal was MacLean’s seventh of the season at 11:23 of the second period.
The Thunderbirds retook the lead at 10:33 of the third when James Neal scored on a penalty shot for his ninth goal and 14th point in 11 AHL games this season. Sam Anas found Neal in stride for a breakaway just before the penalty shot was called, and he was wrapped up by Paul LaDue from behind. Neal beat Schneider on the blocker side to make it 2-1.
Springfield’s Tommy Cross was accessed a cross-checking minor at 17:23 of the third period and head coach Brent Thompson also pulled Schneider for a late 6-on-4 attack, which paid dividends at the 19:00 mark. Otto Koivula guided a pass to Terry in the right circle, where his one-time blast sailed past Lindgren’s glove to even the score 2-2.
It was Terry’s team-best sixth power-play goal of the season, his team-high 21st overall, and his team-leading 45th point. Terry has now scored in back-to-back games and Koivula recorded his team-leading 27th assist. Austin Czarnik collected the secondary helper and, like Terry, has 12 points in his last nine AHL games.
Both teams refused to give an inch in overtime, but Calle Rosen centered a pass for Matthew Peca with less than 26 seconds remaining and the latter bumped the puck over the goal line for the 3-2 final.
The Islanders went 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Lindgren (18-3-1) ended the night with 36 saves.
Next Time Out: The Islanders return to Total Mortgage Arena on Saturday for a 7 p.m. matchup against the Syracuse Crunch, AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The game can be heard online through the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, or seen via AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.