Preview: Islanders vs. Wolf PackNov 23, 2022
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Islanders (9-3-3-0) go for their third straight win tonight in a Thanksgiving Eve showdown against the Hartford Wolf Pack (5-5-1-3) at Total Mortgage Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. Last time out, the Islanders defeated the Providence Bruins in overtime on Sunday, led by Aatu Raty’s game-winning goal at 2:59 of the extra session. William Dufour and Erik Brown both scored in regulation, while Jakub Skarek (3-2-2) set a new career high with 43 saves, earning him AHL Second Star of the Night honors.
GAME AT A GLANCE
Tonight’s game is the third of 12 meetings between the Islanders and Wolf Pack this season, and the third of six at Total Mortgage Arena. Bridgeport has won each of the first two matchups by a combined 10-5 score, including a 5-3 victory on Nov. 5th. Arnaud Durandeau scored twice for the first time in his pro career and added an assist. Ruslan Iskhakov also collected three points (three assists) and Skarek stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced.
VIEW FROM HARTFORD
The Wolf Pack snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win against the Hershey Bears on the road Sunday. Down 2-1 after the first period, Hartford rallied with goals from Ben Harpur, Ty Emberson and Will Cuylle and 20 total saves from Louis Domingue (4-2-3). Tim Gettinger had a game-high two assists. Andy Welinski leads the Wolf Pack with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 13 games, which is tied for 12th among all AHL defensemen.
BITING BACK AT THE PACK
Ruslan Iskhakov, who played two seasons of college hockey at UConn (which shares the XL Center with the Wolf Pack), leads all players in the series with five points. He posted two assists in a 5-2 win on Oct. 23rd and added three more on Nov. 5th. Iskhakov is tied with Samuel Bolduc for the team lead in scoring with 14 points, which also shares the league lead among rookies. His 10 assists pace all AHL rookies. Bridgeport is 6-0-1-0 when Iskhakov records at least one point.
William Dufour has scored in back-to-back games and enters tonight’s contest tied with Andy Andreoff and Hudson Fasching for the team lead (six goals). He also ranks fifth among all AHL rookies in goals. Dufour’s six goals have come on 34 shots, which shares third on the Islanders’ roster (17.6% shooting percentage). Last season, Dufour scored a career-high 56 goals in 66 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs, which led the entire QMJHL.
200 FOR SCHNEIDER
If Cory Schneider gets the nod in net tonight, it will mark his 200th career AHL appearance. Of course, most of his pro career has come in the National Hockey League, playing 410 contests between the New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks over parts of 14 seasons. Schneider enters the day ninth in the AHL in save percentage (.923), 11th in goals-against-average (2.33) and shares fourth in wins (6).
Parker Wotherspoon passed Aaron Ness (2010-15) for sole possession of sixth place on the team’s all-time games played list on Sunday (281)... Bridgeport has recorded between 30-39 shots in nine of its 15 games this season, going 7-1-1-0 in those outings... Erik Brown has points in three straight games, his only three appearances of the season (two goals, one assist).
New York Islanders (12-8-0): Last: 3-2 OTW at Toronto, Monday -- Next: Tonight vs. Edmonton, 7:30 p.m. ET
Worcester Railers (12-2-0-0): Last: 7-0 W vs. Greenville, Saturday -- Next: Tonight at Norfolk, 7:05 p.m. ET