Recap: Thunderbirds 4, Islanders 1Nov 24, 2021
Cory Schneider made 44 saves on Wednesday, matching his career high in the American Hockey League, but the Springfield Thunderbirds (13-2-2-0) scored four times in the second period and the Bridgeport Islanders (5-10-1-2) dropped a 4-1 decision at MassMutual Center.
All four of the Thunderbirds’ goals were tallied at even strength despite seven power-play opportunities for the home team. The Islanders had a season-high six power plays of their own, with their only goal coming on the man advantage from Austin Czarnik in the final two minutes.
Schneider stopped all 19 shots he faced in a busy first period to keep the game scoreless. Springfield outshot Bridgeport 19-8 in the opening period and 12-6 in the second, taking control of the contest beginning at the 6:04 mark of the middle frame. Logan Brown dug the puck out of a pile of players on the left side and centered a pass for Josh Wesley, where the defenseman greeted it with a one-time blast for his first goal of the season.
Brown capitalized on a centering pass from Nathan Walker more than two minutes later and Hugh McGing followed up with his fourth goal of the season just 29 seconds after that to make it 3-0. McGing twisted a slap shot past Schneider’s glove at the 8:40 mark after he was presented a pass from Matthew Peca.
Mackenzie MacEachern put the Thunderbirds ahead by four at 9:57 of the second period, sweeping home Alexei Toropchenko’s feed for his second goal of the season.
Down 4-0 in the final two minutes, Czarnik snapped home his third goal of the season at 18:26 of the third period to end Charlie Lindgren’s shutout. Chris Terry guided a pass to Mitch Vande Sompel at the blue line, where he quickly found Czarnik in the left circle. Czarnik’s shot funneled through traffic and past Lindgren’s glove for the 4-1 final.
Springfield outshot Bridgeport 48-19 and Lindgren (7-1-1) made 18 saves for his fourth straight win. The Thunderbirds won their fifth straight game and improved to 6-0-1-0 against the Islanders in the series.
Next Time Out: The Islanders return to action on Friday with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Providence Bruins at Webster Bank Arena. Fans can follow the action all season long via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:40 p.m.