Recap: Thunderbirds 4, Islanders 3 (OT)Jan 6, 2023
The Bridgeport Islanders (14-12-6-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, fought back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to earn one point on Friday in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds (15-13-1-4) at MassMutual Center.
William Dufour and Chris Terry (power play) scored 3:42 apart to pull the Islanders back even after they trailed 3-1 entering the third. Kyle McLean added his sixth goal of the season midway through the second and Ken Appleby (0-1-2) made 32 saves.
Despite the point, the Islanders suffered their ninth straight setback (0-6-2-1) and are now tied with the Thunderbirds for fifth place in the Atlantic Division (35 points). Bridgeport is 2-2-2-1 against Springfield this season.
Martin Frk bookended the scoring for the Thunderbirds including the first goal of the night at 4:32 of the second. After a quiet first period that saw two Bridgeport power plays and a key save from Appleby on Will Bitten’s breakaway, Vincent Sevigny was called for hooking early in the second and Frk slapped home a one-time shot from the left circle to make it 1-0.
MacLean answered less than four minutes later with a shot in tight on Joel Hofer from the left side of the crease. MacLean and Arnaud Durandeau worked a give-and-go over the T-Birds’ blue line that set up Blade Jenkins at the doorstep, who steered a last-second pass to MacLean. It was his sixth goal of the season and second in as many contests at 8:17.
Keean Washkurak’s first goal in his ninth game of the season made it 2-1 Springfield at 13:01 of the second and Steven Jandric followed up 4:35 later with his first in 19 games. It completed a three-goal second period for Springfield.
The Islanders battled back hard in the third period and got rewarded with a pair of goals on 10 shots to force overtime. Ryan MacKinnon let a slap shot go from the blue line five minutes into the frame that was blocked in the slot and touched to Dufour by Ruslan Iskhakov. Dufour’s quick release on the rebound beat Hofer stick side for his 12th goal of the season, tied for fourth among AHL rookies.
Terry connected on a one-timer from the left faceoff dot for Bridgeport’s lone power-play goal at 8:43 of the third period, tying the contest with his 10th of the season. Iskhakov and Cholowski had the helpers following a Springfield bench minor for too many men.
In overtime, Frk skated in down the left wing and cut to the deep slot where he guided a heavy wrist shot past Appleby for the 4-3 final. Both teams went 1-for-3 on the power play and Springfield led in shots, 36-34.
Hofer (11-8-4) made 31 saves for the Thunderbirds.
Next Time Out: The Islanders return to Total Mortgage Arena tomorrow to face the Providence Bruins at 7 p.m. for Military Appreciation Night. Fans can watch all of the action online via AHLTV.