Islanders Hockey Club Sweeps Twin City With Back-To-Back Shutouts
The Islanders jumped back into a share of first place in the New England Division, which also currently comprises a tie for second in the NCDC overall. It helps a lot that they were not defeated in regulation in November, going 4-0-1-1. Two of those were the 3-0 and 5-0 victories in their most recent home-and-home series against the Twin City Thunder on Nov. 16 and Nov. 18.
Goaltender: Michael Salvatore, Islanders Hockey Club
Salvatore (‘03/Newburyport, Mass.) stopped all 21 shots faced against the Twin City Thunder to give the Islanders Hockey Club back-to-back shutout wins for the first time in their seven-year history. Salvatore remains undefeated in regulation over six starts with a 4-0-2-0 record. A former USPHL 16U All-Star for the Boston Junior Bruins, Salvatore improved to fourth in the league in goals against average with a 2.09 mark.
Rookie*: Frank Murphy, Islanders Hockey Club
Murphy (‘04/Mississauga, Ont.) earned his second shutout of the season and improved to 9-2-1-1 with the Islanders when he stopped all 35 shots he faced from the Twin City Thunder. Murphy stands directly behind creasemate Michael Salvatore as he has a 2.12 GAA, good for fifth in the league.
Islanders Hockey Club Take Win, Shootout Loss For Three Points, Pull To Within A Point Of New England Lead
The IHC is unbeaten in regulation over their last four games, going 2-0-1-1 for the month of November so far. They lost to the Boston Junior Bruins, 5-4, in a shootout on Nov. 10 and then defeated the Junior Bruins, 2-1, in overtime on Nov. 12. The Islanders moved to 12-2-3-1 on the season for 28 points, just one point behind the New England Division-leading South Shore Kings and four points behind the league-leading P.A.L. Jr. Islanders at 32.
When the IHC won 2-1 in OT, on the back of a game-winner by Maksim Tsegelnik, they set a new league-high for wins by one goal this year, with a 6-0-3-1 record in one-goal games. They’re one of three teams undefeated in regulation in one-goal games, joining P.A.L. (4-0-1-1) and Provo (4-0-0-2). The Islanders Hockey Club is tied with Utica (5-2-2-1) in total one-goal games at 10 apiece.
The Islanders also lead in games beyond regulation with eight this year. They’ve gone to OT six times, with a 3-3 record there, and they’ve split shootouts 1-1. Their three OT wins and 12 points earned beyond regulation both lead the league.
Samuel Larsson, who was already co-leading the league in power play assists with seven, jumped to the top of power play scoring by defensemen with his goal in the 2-1 win, giving him nine points on the man-advantage.
Frank Murphy is second in shootout percentage by a goalie, stopping 10 of 11 attempts for a .909 save percentage in the 1v1 showdowns. In full team play, he is fifth in save percentage with a .933 mark.
Tikhon Ashikhmin’s power play goal in the 5-4 shootout loss was his fifth of the year, good for third league-wide. He’s also fifth in total league scoring with 23 points in 18 games.
Tsegelnik’s overtime goal was the first of his two-year NCDC career, and his second game-winner overall. Like Ashikhmin, he has also already bypassed his 2022-23 season totals. Tsegelnik also scored IHC’s only shootout goal in the 5-4 shootout loss on Nov. 10. At 19 points, he is well beyond the 14 points he put up in 32 games last year.