Story By: Matthew Wiernasz
Photo courtesy of the Springfield Thunderbirds
SPRINGFIELD, MA– Martin Frk scored the game-winning goal for the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday night at the MassMutual Center as they defeated the Bridgeport Islanders 7-6. The Thunderbirds have now won three games in a row including two out of three on their Canadian road trip as they swept the Belleville Senators last weekend.
The Alexandrov-Frk-Todd line was impressive on Friday night. Alexandrov had the hat trick and assist. Frk had a goal and three assists and Nathan Todd had two goals and an assist.
Nikita Alexandrov got the Thunderbirds on the board as Nathan Todd found Matthew Highmore. Highmore fired the shot from the high slot as Alexandrov was able to put the rebound in the net to make it 1-0 with 5:41 remaining in the first period. Nathan Todd extended the lead for the Thunderbirds two and half minutes later as he took the shot and went off the blocker of Islanders goaltender Jakub Skarek to make it 2-0.
There were a total of 10 goals scored in the second period. Ruslan Iskhakov cut into the Thunderbirds lead as he fired the wrist shot and beat Thunderbirds goaltender Joel Hofer to make it 2-1 4:22 into the second period.
Alexandrov would respond 15 seconds later. Thunderbirds captain Tommy Cross fired the shot and Alexandrov put in the rebound for his second goal of the night to make it 3-1.
Simon Holmstrom took advantage of a Thunderbirds turnover and scored a shorthanded goal with one second remaining on the Thunderbirds power play to make it 3-2 with 8:09 remaining in the second period. Grant Hutton took a wrist shot from the right corner of the faceoff circle to the game for the Islanders at 3-3 with 7:16 remaining in the second period.
Alexandrov completed the hat trick with 1:32 remaining in the second period to retake the lead for the Thunderbirds to make it 4-3..
Nathan Todd added his second goal of the game for the Thunderbirds 2:13 into the third period to make it 5-3. The Islanders however responded with three goals in the third period. William Dufour scored on a one-timer 7:56 into the third period to make it 5-4. Erik Brown beat Hofer with the shot to tie the game for the Islanders for the second time in the game to make it 5-5. The Islanders would then take advantage of the power play as Anthony Angello would be called for tripping at 16:20. They responded 11 seconds into the power play as Samuel Buldoc fired the slap shot and Andy Andreoff tipped it in to give them their first lead of the night to make it 6-5.
Hugh McGing would tie the game for the Thunderbirds as he fired the one-timer with 2:08 remaining in regulation to tie the game at 6-6.
The Thunderbirds would receive a 5-on-3 power play near the end of the third period and would extend into overtime
Tommy Cross would make the pass to Martin Frk and Frk took the shot with the one-timer from the left faceoff circle to make it and score the game-winning goal 1:17 into overtime to make it 7-6.
The Thunderbirds will return to the ice tonight at the MassMutual Center as they take on the Providence Bruins with puck drop beginning at 7:05 p.m.