T-Birds Outlast Islanders for Second Straight Win
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 www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from October 17, 2021
- Stars Bounce Back with 3-1 Win - Texas Stars
- Marlies Fall 5-0 to Manitoba - Toronto Marlies
- Marlies Fall 5-0 to Manitoba - Toronto Marlies
- Colorado Falls to Silver Knights, 6-3 - Colorado Eagles
- Silver Knights Defeat Eagles 6-3 - Henderson Silver Knights
- Rossi Nets First Professional Goal as Wild Fall to Stars, 3-1 - Iowa Wild
- Moose Dominate Marlies to Record First Win - Manitoba Moose
- Comets Defeat Americans 6-2 in Front of Sold out Crowd on Opening Night - Utica Comets
- Thunderbirds Edge Islanders 4-3 in a Shootout - Bridgeport Islanders
- Amerks Drop Season Opener to Comets - Rochester Americans
- Hershey Holds off Phantoms in Frantic Finish - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- P-Bruins Earn One Point in First Road Game, Fall to Hartford Wolf Pack in Shootout, 4-3 - Providence Bruins
- Penguins Dealt First Loss of the Season by Checkers, 4-1 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- T-Birds Outlast Islanders for Second Straight Win - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Wolf Pack Battle Back to Knock off Bruins 4-3 in Shootout Thriller - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Hershey Holds on Late to Sweep Opening Weekend - Hershey Bears
- Checkers Earn First Win behind Daccord's Strong Performance - Charlotte Checkers
- Anaheim Ducks Recall Benoit; Pateryn, Dostal and Durny Join Gulls - San Diego Gulls
- Henderson Silver Knights Foundation Announces 52/48 Raffle - Henderson Silver Knights
- Nardella Selected for National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame - Chicago Wolves
- Blue Jackets Recall Forward Yegor Chinakhov from Monsters - Cleveland Monsters
- Wolf Pack Look to Finish Busy Weekend on Winning Note - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Game Preview: Phantoms at Bears, 3 PM - Hershey Bears
- Nick Seeler Loaned to Phantoms - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Penalty Kill Shines as Hammond Blanks Stars in Season Opener - Iowa Wild
- Abbotsford Canucks Lose 5-3 in Inaugural AHL Game - Abbotsford Canucks
- Reign Scores Opening-Night Victory over San Diego - Ontario Reign
- Ontario Sends Gulls to Loss in Season Opener - San Diego Gulls
- Griffins Suffer First Road Loss - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Heat Earn Weekend Split against Tucson with 3-2 Win - Stockton Heat
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.