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AHL Game Recap/Analysis

Andreoff’s Late Goal Powers Islanders Past T-Birds

Andreoff’s Late Goal Powers Islanders Past T-Birds

BRIDGEPORT, Ct. – Another day, another game with some spice for the Springfield Thunderbirds as they tangled with one of the Atlantic Division’s top teams: the Bridgeport Islanders. It’s a scene that’s become all too familiar for the Thunderbirds early on this season as the two teams combined for six goals in the second period and traded leads until Andy Andreoff scored on the power play with just over three minutes to play, breaking a 4-4 deadlock. Andreoff lifted the Islanders to a 6-4 win at Total Mortgage Arena. Cory Schneider earned the win with 30 saves, while Vadim Zherenko suffered the loss with 31 stops.

It was a relatively pedestrian first twenty minutes of action, at least in contrast to the rest of the game. Steven Santini scored his first goal of the season as he went to the net and tapped in a shot from Matthew Highmore to open up a 1-0 lead. The teams traded a good number of shots, with the Islanders taking an 11-9 edge in the opening twenty minutes.

That trend continued into the second period as Paul Thompson needed only half of a minute to even the score at one with his second of the season. Thompson patrolled the front of the net and deflected a shot from Samuel Bolduc past Zherenko for the goal.

Springfield responded only a few minutes later as Martin Frk tallied his fifth of the season, arriving at the front of the net in the perfect time to chip a rebound past an outstretched Schneider to reestablish a Springfield advantage. The Islanders would rattle off three consecutive goals to turn the 2-1 Thunderbirds lead into a 4-2 Bridgeport edge. Hudson Fasching, Aatu Raty, and Cole Bardreau all tallied in the middle stanza, with the Raty goal in the sequence a power play tally. It was a successful night for the power play on both sides as Springfield countered with a Will Bitten power-play marker to cut into the lead before intermission.

Springfield rallied to tie the game at four as Anthony Angello continued his point streak with his fifth of the season. The end of the game saw special teams provide for one team and not the other. Andreoff’s team-leading tenth goal of the season proved to be the difference. Unfortunately, the Thunderbirds could not capitalize on a power play for the duration of regulation as Bardreau scored his second of the game on the empty net to seal the game.

Springfield’s dismal month of November concludes with the defending Eastern Conference Champions winning four games in 11 tries, sliding to seventh place in the division. If the playoffs started today, they’d be out of the dance entirely, although their current standing is only due to a tiebreaker with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, as the bottom three teams are tied at 18 points each.

Springfield gets back into action on Friday when they host the Rockford IceHogs as part of Rockford’s road swing against the East, while Bridgeport hosts the league-leading Providence Bruins on Wednesday. The Islanders and Thunderbirds meet again on Sunday in Bridgeport for a rematch of this game.

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