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T-Birds Outlast Islanders for Second Straight Win

October 17, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Springfield Thunderbirds News Release

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds (2-0-0-0) stayed one step ahead of the Bridgeport Islanders (0-1-0-2) for a 4-3 shootout win on Sunday afternoon in a back-and-forth affair inside the MassMutual Center.

For a majority of the first period, the possession favored the Islanders. A broken play, however, sent the T-Birds to the lead at the 13:44 mark when Hugh McGing found the puck in the left circle and threw a backhand pass to the right circle, leading to a one-timer from Tanner Kapsick that beat Jakub Skarek to make it a 1-0 Springfield lead. Penalties would hurt the Thunderbirds just over five minutes later as Chris Terry beat Charlie Lindgren on a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle to tie the game, 1-1.

Springfield's power play, though, would continue its red-hot start to the weekend and retake the lead with just 1:10 left on the clock in the period as Nikita Alexandrov beat Skarek with a one-time wrister from the slot to make it 2-1 after the first 20 minutes.

Moments into the second period, the Islanders picked up another power play chance, and off an odd-man rush into the offensive end, Michael Dal Colle finished a centering feed from Austin Czarnik to tie the score, 2-2 at 3:21 of the middle frame.

As has been the theme, the T-Birds responded admirably to the equalizer, as they were awarded a 5-on-3 advantage from back-to-back penalties against Bridgeport near the late stages of the second. While Bridgeport killed the 5-on-3, they could not escape the remnants of the second penalty. Scott Perunovich neatly danced around the net from his left point position before sliding a pass in front to Logan Brown, who lifted a backhanded wrister over Skarek to move the Thunderbirds back on top, 3-2. Perunovich and Nathan Walker each earned their second helpers of the game on Brown's first as a T-Bird.

Armed with a 3-2 lead, T-Birds starting goalie Charlie Lindgren did everything in his power to keep his team in front, including a dazzling net-mouth save with Andy Andreoff lurking near the crease. Despite this, the Islanders would not relent, and Anatolii Golyshev tied the game at 12:03 off a beautiful net-circling drive and feed from Otto Koivula. That tally would end up forcing overtime, but a relatively uneventful 3-on-3 frame yielded no winner.

The shootout also had little in the way of success, as both teams went to extra skaters after going 0-for-3 in attempts. Hugh McGing stepped up in the top of the fourth round and snapped a wrister in behind Skarek's glove hand, and when Lindgren denied Dal Colle moments later, the T-Birds secured their second consecutive win to kick off the season.

The T-Birds and Islanders renew acquaintances on Friday night in Springfield for the first of a home-and-home weekend set. Puck drop at the MassMutual Center on Friday is set for 7:05 p.m.

For more information on how to become a Springfield Thunderbirds ticket member, call (413) 739-4625 or visit

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