Islanders Host Checkers Twice This WeekendJan 8, 2022
The Bridgeport Islanders (11-16-3-3) face the Charlotte Checkers (14-11-2-0) twice in as many days this weekend, featuring a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader at Webster Bank Arena. The two-game series kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. and finishes tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. The Islanders are in search of their second straight victory following a thrilling, come-from-behind win on Wednesday against the Providence Bruins. Bridgeport battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the second period and a 3-2 deficit in the third to score its first win of 2022. Thomas Hickey, Cole Bardreau, Collin Adams (PP) and Richard Panik (GWG) all found the back of the net in the 4-3 final, while Jakub Skarek (8-8-3) made 28 saves.
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A DOUBLE DOSE OF BIG-TIME PROMOTIONS
The Bridgeport Islanders celebrate two of their biggest promotions of the season this weekend: “Military Appreciation Night” this evening and “Prince and Princess Night” on Sunday. The first 1,000 fans will receive an exclusive military-themed giveaway tonight, plus enjoy the 102D Army Band Brass Quintet and check out United States military vehicles on the concourse. On Sunday, take part in a fairy-tale costume contest, Disney Moon Bounce and more! Tickets for kids 11 and younger are just $10 at the Yale New Haven Health Box Office.
ISLANDERS VS. CHECKERS
Tonight’s game is the fourth of eight meetings between the Islanders and Checkers this season, and the second of four in Connecticut. Bridgeport is 1-2-0-0 against Charlotte following a two-game split in North Carolina on Dec. 18-19. The Islanders scored three times in the first period and twice in the third to earn a 5-1 win on Dec. 18th, but Cole Bardreau had the only goal in a 3-1 setback on Dec. 19th. The Checkers defeated Bridgeport 3-2 at Webster Bank Arena on Dec. 5th when Grigori Denisenko scored a power-play goal with just 2:11 remaining.
VIEW FROM CHARLOTTE
The fifth-place Checkers return to action tonight following a 20-day layoff due to several postponements resulting from league Covid-19 protocols. They have not played since defeating Bridgeport 3-1 at home on Dec. 19th, which means Charlotte will end up facing the Islanders in four straight games following tomorrow’s rematch. The Checkers are led offensively by forwards Cole Schwindt and Logan Hutsko (19 points in 27 games), while Schwindt and Scott Wilson are tied for the team lead in goals (nine). Joey Daccord (5-4-1) is fifth among all AHL netminders in goals-against-average (2.07).
PANIK AT THE DISCO
Richard Panik’s fourth goal of the season and first since Dec. 4th came with just 1:52 remaining in the third period on Wednesday, propelling the Islanders to their first win of 2022. It was also their first win at home since Dec. 11th against Toronto. Three of Panik’s four goals this season have turned out to be game winners, leading all Bridgeport players in that category. The veteran forward has four points (two goals, two assists) in his last six games and the Islanders are 3-1-0-0 when Panik scores a goal.
STREAKING IN JANUARY
Michael Dal Colle has points in four straight games for the first time this season, logging assists in each of his last two games and scoring in the previous two. Dal Colle has played just 11 AHL games this season, but has five goals and nine points over that span. Two of his five goals have come on the man advantage and he currently ranks third in points-per-game (0.82). In addition, Otto Koivula enters tonight’s game with points/assists in three straight games. He has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his last nine outings and his 17 assists on the season are tied for 10th in the AHL.
Thomas Hickey played his 700th professional game between the NHL and AHL on Wednesday night and scored his first goal since Feb. 17, 2019... Simon Holmstrom is expected to play his 100th North American pro game tonight... He has 16 goals, 21 assists and 37 points in 99 AHL games... Chris Terry sat out Wednesday’s game against Providence, but continues to lead the Islanders in goals (11) and points (26)... He is tied for eighth among all AHL players in scoring and tied for second in shots (101)... Jakub Skarek is third among all AHL goalies in minutes played (1166:11) and fourth in saves (542).
New York Islanders (10-12-6); Last: 3-2 OTW vs. EDM, Saturday -- Next: Jan. 13th vs. NJ, 7:30 p.m.
Worcester Railers (9-13-1-1); Last: 3-2 L at REA, Friday -- Next: Tonight at REA, 7 p.m.