Islanders Relentless in 4-3 Preseason WinOct 8, 2021
Mitch Vande Sompel scored the go-ahead goal with less than six minutes to play on Friday as the Bridgeport Islanders, American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, opened their exhibition schedule with a 4-3 victory against the Hartford Wolf Pack at XL Center.
Simon Holmstrom (one goal, one assist), Jeff Kubiak (one goal, one assist) and Grant Hutton (two assists) each recorded two points, while goaltender Jon Gillies went the distance in net. He made 36 saves on 39 shots.
Bridgeport jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with back-to-back even-strength goals from a pair of New York Islanders’ prospects. Holmstrom, the 2019 first-round draft pick, scored his first of the preseason at the 7:35 mark, sending a shot past Adam Huska, who ended the day with 18 saves.
Cole Coskey followed up at the 14:40 mark when he received a pass from Blade Jenkins and found an opening.
The Wolf Pack responded less than two minutes later when Lauri Pajuniemi scored his third goal in two preseason appearances to make it 2-1 after 20 minutes.
Zach Giuttari pulled Hartford back even at 13:07 of the second period following several passes between former Bridgeport forward Anthony Greco and Tarmo Reunanen.
The 2-2 deadlock was broken at 10:19 of the third period when Hutton found Kubiak, who ripped a shot past relief goaltender Tyler Wall. The advantage was brief, however, as Austin Rueschhoff beat Gillies just 62 seconds later on the power play with Coskey in the box for slashing.
Vande Sompel’s winning goal came at 14:48 of the third period, from Paul Thompson and Reece Newkirk.
Bridgeport finished the game 0-for-2 on the power play, and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Islanders return to action tomorrow for a 1 p.m. rematch against the Wolf Pack at Webster Bank Arena. It’s the preseason finale for both teams, and is closed to the public.