Preview: Islanders vs. CheckersNov 18, 2022
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Islanders (7-2-3-0) open their second “3-in-3” of the season with a 7 p.m. puck drop against the Charlotte Checkers (7-4-1-1) tonight at Total Mortgage Arena. The Islanders are looking to snap a three-game slide (0-1-2-0), but have points in 10 of their last 11 games dating back to Oct. 15th. Bridgeport hasn’t played since a 2-1 overtime loss to the Hershey Bears on the road last Saturday, when Vincent Sevigny scored his second pro goal and Cory Schneider (5-1-1) made 30 saves.
GAME AT A GLANCE
Tonight’s game is the second of six meetings between the Islanders and Checkers this season, and the second of three at Total Mortgage Arena. Bridgeport is 1-0-0-0 in the series following a 4-3 shootout win at home on Nov. 1st. Vincent Sevigny, Aatu Raty and Andy Andreoff each scored in regulation that day, while William Dufour ended the contest with a goal on his first pro shootout attempt. Between the pipes, Cory Schneider (32 saves) outlasted Alex Lyon (33 saves). The Islanders enter tonight's game in third place in the Atlantic Division, while the Checkers are one point back in fourth.
VIEW FROM CHARLOTTE
Geordie Kinnear’s group is winless in regulation through its last five games (2-3-0-0), but earned a 3-2 shootout victory against the Hartford Wolf Pack on the road Wednesday. Lucas Carlsson and Checkers leading scorer Riley Nash each had a goal in regulation before Anton Levtchi and Chris Tierney found the net in a three-round shootout. Charlotte’s captain Zac Dalpe was held off the scoresheet for the first time in two games, but continues to lead the club with six goals this season. The Checkers continue a six-game road trip tonight.
The Islanders have scored the first goal in nine of their 12 games this season. In fact, Bridgeport is tied with Hershey, Colorado and Springfield for the most “first goals” in the AHL this season. The Islanders have recorded points in all nine games in which they have scored the opening goal (7-0-2-0).
The New York Islanders loaned Nikita Soshnikov to Bridgeport after he cleared waivers on Wednesday. The 29-year-old forward played three NHL games to begin the season after signing a one-year deal on Sept. 21st. He spent each of the last three seasons in the KHL following parts of four years in North America between the Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues organizations (2015-19). If he plays tonight, it would be Soshnikov’s first AHL appearance since Dec. 16, 2018 with San Antonio.
Parker Wotherspoon notched his 100th professional point (all with Bridgeport) with an assist on Hudson Fasching’s second goal of the game last Friday in Hershey. The 25-year-old defenseman has collected 21 goals and 79 assists through 278 games. He is seventh on the team’s all-time games played list, just two appearances behind Aaron Ness (2010-15). He could pass Ness on Sunday.
Cory Schneider is 11th among AHL netminders in goals-against-average (2.38) and save percentage (.921), and tied for fifth in wins (5)… Ruslan Iskhakov remains first among AHL rookies in assists (10) and points (14 - tied with Cleveland’s Kirill Marchenko)… Andy Andreoff is tied with Providence forward Vinni Letteri for the league lead in power-play goals (five)... Samuel Bolduc is tied for third among AHL defensemen in points (12) and is already just two points shy of his career high... The Islanders have scored 17 second-period goals, tied with Syracuse for most in the Eastern Conference.
New York Islanders (11-7-0): Last: 5-4 L at Nashville, last night -- Next: Tomorrow at Dallas, 8 p.m.
Worcester Railers (10-2-0-0): Last: 6-2 L vs. Reading, Wednesday -- Next: Tonight vs. Greenville, 7:05 p.m.