T-Birds lose a heartbreaker in Bridgeport

Story By: Matthew Wiernasz

Photo Courtesy of the Springfield Thunderbirds

BRIDGEPORT, CT- Andy Andreoff scored the game-winning goal in overtime as the Islanders defeated the Thunderbirds 3-2 last Tuesday at Total Mortgage Arena.

Former Thunderbird player Paul Thompson got the Islanders on the board 2:30 into the opening period as he put the loose puck past Thunderbirds goaltender Joel Hofer to make it 1-0.

The Islanders would extend the lead by two goals a little over halfway into the first period as Reece Newkirk and Jeff Kubiak went on a 2-on-1 rush. Newkirk made the pass to Kubiak and he put the puck past Hofer to make it 2-0 with 7:58 remaining in the first period.

Thunderbirds defenseman Dmitri Samorukov got his team on the board as he took the slap shot that beat Islanders goaltender Jakub Skarek’s glove hand to make it 2-1 at the 2:02 mark of the second period.

The T-Birds would respond early in the third period. On a 4-on-4 play, Will Bitten sent a pass to the crease arena and went off the chest of Nikita Alexandrov and into the net 1:24 into the third period to tie the game at 2-2.

The Thunderbirds would get their first lead of the game when Tyler Tucker fired the shot and it deflected off of Keean Washkurak and past Skarek to make it 3-2 at the 2:52 mark of the third period.

The Islanders responded as Andreoff tied the game as Chris Terry sneaked the puck from behind past Thunderbirds goaltender Joel Hofer to make it 3-3 with 5:35 remaining in regulation.

This game would head into overtime as both teams had great scoring opportunities. Hofer denied a breakaway opportunity on Islanders forward William Dufour. Mikhail Abramov was denied a two-man rush by Jakub Skarek.

The Islanders would put an end to the game as Thunderbirds defenseman Scott Perunovich was cross-checked multiple times. The referee did not call a penalty. Andreoff took advantage of a 2-on-1 and was able to put the shot past Hofer to score the game-winning goal with 1:19 remaining in overtime to make it 4-3.

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