Islanders Hope to Gobble Up Two Points Tonight

Islanders Hope to Gobble Up Two Points Tonight

Nov 24, 2021

The Bridgeport Islanders (5-9-1-2) face the Springfield Thunderbirds (12-2-2-0) for the third time in five days, with puck drop set for 6:05 p.m. tonight at MassMutual Center. It marks Bridgeport's second Thanksgiving Eve matchup against Springfield in the last three seasons, following a 3-2 win at MassMutual Center on Nov. 27, 2019.



The Islanders have dropped five straight games for the first time this season (0-4-1-0) and are looking to right the ship after a 5-2 setback at home on Sunday. Simon Holmstrom (one goal, one assist) and Otto Koivula (two assists) each earned a multi-point effort, but Springfield scored four times in the third period for its fourth consecutive win. Parker Wotherspoon also collected his first goal of the season, which gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead early in the third period.






Tonight’s game is the seventh of 12 meetings between the Islanders and Thunderbirds this season, and the fourth of six in Massachusetts. Springfield is 5-0-1-0 in the series and 3-0-0-0 in those games at home. Otto Koivula leads the Islanders with six points (all assists) in six games against the St. Louis Blues’ affiliate, which leads the Atlantic Division. Nathan Walker and Logan Brown each have seven points in six contests.



Drew Bannister’s team has won four straight games and eight of its last 10, leading the Atlantic Division with 26 points in 16 games (two points ahead of Hartford). On Sunday, Nathan Walker scored twice and Logan Brown and Tyler Tucker each had three assists in Springfield’s 5-2 win at Bridgeport. Matthew Peca also recorded his team-leading ninth goal of the season (tied for second-most in the AHL), while Joel Hofer (5-0-1) made 27 saves to remain unbeaten in regulation. He ranks sixth in the AHL with a 2.13 goals-against-average.



Otto Koivula notched his third multi-point game of the season with two assists on Sunday, giving him a team-high 12 helpers and 15 points in 17 games. Koivula’s 12 assists are tied for the most among all active AHL players and his 15 points are tied for 10th in the league. He has at least one point in 12 of his last 15 games.



Kyle MacLean assisted on Cole Bardreau’s first goal of the season last Saturday in Springfield, pushing his point streak to a season-high six games. It is Bridgeport’s longest scoring streak of the season and matched his career high. Despite the streak coming to an end on Sunday, MacLean has seven points in his last seven games (two goals, five assists).



Rookie defenseman Connor McCarthy was recalled from Worcester (ECHL) last Saturday and made his AHL debut that night in Springfield. McCarthy played again on Sunday and finished the weekend with five shots-on-goal in two games. The 25-year-old had two assists and a team-high plus-five rating in 10 games with Worcester to begin the season following a four-year career at Clarkson University. 



Along with McCarthy, forwards Felix Bibeau and Paul Thompson, as well as defenseman Mike Cornell, have been recalled from Worcester (ECHL)… Forward Collin Adams was reassigned to Bridgeport by the New York Islanders on Tuesday… Simon Holmstrom is second on the team in assists (nine) and tied for third in scoring (11 points, one behind Arnaud Durandeau)… Jakub Skarek is fifth among all AHL goalies in minutes played (625:28)… Blade Jenkins, who scored twice in Hartford last Wednesday, has points in four of his last five games and is tied for second on the team in goals (five).



New York Islanders (5-8-2); Last: 3-0 L vs. Toronto, Sunday -- Next: Tonight vs. NY Rangers, 7:30 p.m.

Worcester Railers (4-6-0-1): Last: 3-1 W vs. Trois Rivieres, Saturday -- Next: Tonight at Maine, 7 p.m.

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