Recap: Thunderbirds 5, Islanders 1Dec 28, 2021
The Bridgeport Islanders (10-15-1-3), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, stalled out after Chris Terry’s power-play goal in the opening 46 seconds on Tuesday and suffered a 5-1 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds (16-7-2-1) at Webster Bank Arena.
Terry’s goal was his team-leading 10th of the season and his 24th point, tying him for ninth place among all AHL scorers. Paul LaDue and Collin Adams both assisted on the early tally, but the Thunderbirds scored three times in the second period and twice in the third.
Springfield improved to 7-0-1-0 in the season series. Matthew Peca had a game-high three points (three assists), while Alexey Toropchenko and Tommy Cross each scored once and added an assist.
Terry got things started with his third power-play goal of the season 46 seconds in following a delay of game penalty to Cross at the 12-second mark. He wound up and fired a one-time shot from the right circle, polishing off LaDue’s pass from the blue line. Terry has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his last 12 games.
Bridgeport’s 1-0 lead lasted past the six-minute mark of the second period, before Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman beat Jakub Skarek (7-8-2) at even strength, glove side. The game-tying goal came at 6:22 and made it 1-1 until the 14:44 mark, when Cross moved in on a shorthanded rush, settled Peca’s pass on the left wing, and beat Skarek’s glove from the circle.
Toropchenko put the Thunderbirds ahead 3-1 with less than 14 seconds remaining in the period, capping a tic-tac-toe sequence from the doorstep. Sam Anas moved in slowly from the right wing and found Peca darting towards the crease, where he immediately brushed the puck above the blue paint for a tap-in goal.
Hugh McGing made it 4-1 at 16:18 of the third period, the first of back-to-back power-play tallies just 15 seconds apart. McGing connected on a one-timer from the slot for his sixth goal of the season before Keean Washkurak corralled Drew Callin’s lead pass and deked to his backhand on a breakaway. He roofed the puck glove side on Skarek with Seth Helgeson in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Islanders went 1-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-6 on the penalty kill. Springfield outshot Bridgeport 38-27 and Skarek finished with 33 saves in his team-leading 18th appearance.
Next Time Out: The Islanders return to action tomorrow night for a 7 p.m. matchup against the Hartford Wolf Pack at 7 p.m. inside Webster Bank Arena. Join us for more holiday hockey, with $10 kids’ tickets available at the Yale New Haven Health Box Office! Fans can also follow the action all season long via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network and AHLTV.