Recap: Thunderbirds 4, Islanders 3 (OT)Jan 10, 2024
Jeff Kubiak scored twice for the first time in his American Hockey League career and William Dufour recorded his team-leading fifth power-play goal on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough as the Bridgeport Islanders (10-19-4-0), AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 4-3 overtime loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds (18-12-4-0) at Total Mortgage Arena.
Ruslan Iskhakov, who was named to the 2024 AHL All-Star Classic earlier in the day, added an assist to extend his point streak to a career-high nine games (five goals, seven assists). It’s the longest active streak in the AHL.
Otto Koivula also improved his scoring streak to a season-high six games with an assist (two goals, seven assists). Jakub Skarek (3-13-4) turned aside 22 shots.
Bridgeport struck first in what was a high scoring first six and a half minutes of play. Kubiak put the Islanders ahead with their first shot on goal just 2:09 into the game, firing a dart past Malcolm Subban (7-6-4) after finding himself on a partial breakaway from the right side. Reese Newkirk and Robin Salo recorded the assists on the play. For Salo, it was his fifth helper and sixth point in the last three games.
The Islanders extended their lead 5:30 into the period with Kubiak’s second goal in just over three minutes. Vincent Sevigny and Cole Bardreau were credited with the assists, after Kubiak squeaked a shot past Subban from the bottom of the right circle.
Springfield got on the board just 59 seconds later when Nikita Alexandrov roofed a shot past Skarek from the bottom of the left circle at even strength. Mathias Laferriere and Joseph Duszak received the assists on the play, finishing off the first-period scoring.
Dufour cashed in on the power play 12:34 into the second period with his eighth goal of the season. It was also his second in as many games and his fourth in the last six contests. Koivula and Iskhakov recorded assists on the play, with Koivula sliding a cross-crease pass for Dufour’s finish on the far end.
The Islanders led 3-1 at the second intermission on Wednesday, but the Thunderbirds stormed back to tie the game with two goals in 1:18 midway through the third. Mikhail Abramov made it 3-2 at the 9:26 mark, firing a shot off the right post and in. Springfield tied the game just over a minute later when Mackenzie MacEachern finished off a cross-ice pass from Calle Rosen and buried a one timer past Skarek at 10:44.
Springfield finished its comeback with an overtime goal from Rosen 1:10 into extra time to steal the win. He squeaked a low shot through Skarek’s five-hole as he was falling to the ice.
The Islanders finished the game 1-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Bridgeport is 3-3-1-0 in seven meetings against Springfield this season.
Next Time Out: The Islanders close out their five-game homestand on Saturday night, facing the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins at Total Mortgage Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. and the game can be seen live on AHLTV.com or heard via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network.