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 Bridgeport Islanders

Durandeau Scores Twice, Schneider Makes 34 Saves On Saturday

February 4, 2023 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Bridgeport Islanders News Release


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Arnaud Durandeau scored two goals and Cory Schneider made 34 saves on Saturday, but the Bridgeport Islanders (19-18-7-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, fell to the Springfield Thunderbirds (23-17-1-4) in overtime, 5-4, at MassMutual Center.

William Dufour (one goal, one assist) and Dennis Cholowski (three assists) also had multi-point performances, while the Islanders' special teams were fantastic, going 2-for-4 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. Erik Brown added his fourth goal of the season.

The Islanders are 3-2-4-0 against the Thunderbirds this season and finished the series in Massachusetts with points in five of their six trips (2-1-3-0). Bridgeport enters the All-Star break seventh in the Atlantic Division with 46 points in 45 games.

Bridgeport raced out to a 3-0 lead by 10:40 of the second period and controlled all facets of the game to that point. Durandeau tallied the initial icebreaker late in the first period by converting on a rebound that Cholowski created with a one-time blast from the right point. Vincent Sevigny guided a rink-wide pass to Cholowski who whistled a shot off goaltender Joel Hofer's pad to an unmarked Durandeau below the left circle.

The first period featured just one goal but a nasty, physical tone that saw nine combined penalties for 24 total minutes. Paul LaDue and Greg Printz dropped the gloves as tempers hit the boiling point just over 13 minutes in.

Durandeau's second goal of the night, his 11th of the season, and fourth in the last three games made it 2-0 at 3:53 of the middle stanza. With Matthew Kessel in the box for slashing, Dufour found Durandeau alone in the slot where he turned and fired a shot past Hofer's blocker for the power-play strike. Dufour tallied a power-play goal of his own at 10:40 of the second in transition. Chris Terry stretched a diagonal pass to Andy Andreoff who darted to the left circle, dropped a pass to Dufour who stepped into a wrist shot low, glove side for his 15th of the season.

Springfield recorded each of the next two goals and five of the final six, including two from rookie forward Jake Neighbours. His first came shorthanded when he stole the puck on a Bridgeport power play and cruised behind the net, wrapping home his eighth goal in the AHL at 14:37. Drew Callin redirected Steven Santini's point shot just 3:22 into the third period to make it 3-2.

Brown regained the Islanders' two-goal advantage following a nifty centering pass from Jeff Kubiak less than three minutes later. Kubiak settled Cholowski's lead pass and slipped past a hit before sending the puck between the circles for Brown's one-time finish at 5:41.

Matthew Highmore cut the T-Birds' deficit back to one at the 6:48 mark and Tyler Tucker tied the tilt at 12:39, creeping in back door and tapping home Matthew Peca's cross-ice pass to the crease for his second goal of the season.

Neighbours stepped into a one-time slap shot near the top of the left circle and placed it stick side on Schneider to end the game at 4:27 of overtime.

Next time out: The Islanders return from their All-Star break next Saturday, Feb. 11th with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center. The game can be seen on AHLTV and heard via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network.

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