Recap: Bears 2, Islanders 1Mar 11, 2022
Jeff Kubiak scored his sixth goal of the season and Cory Schneider made 21 saves, but the Bridgeport Islanders (21-25-5-4), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, fell 2-1 to the Hershey Bears (28-21-4-3) at Total Mortgage Arena on Friday.
The loss dropped Bridgeport to 1-2-2-0 in five meetings against Hershey this season. Four of the five matchups have been separated by one goal.
All three goals were scored in the opening period as the division rivals battled for more than 47 scoreless minutes after the 12:38 mark.
Lucas Johansen lit the lamp first just 5:04 into the game when he floated a long wrist shot from the left point that snuck its way through traffic and past a screened Schneider (7-10-2). It came immediately after Marcus Vela’s faceoff win in the left circle.
The Islanders answered at the 12:29 mark when Kubiak flexed his muscle and drove the net. Thomas Hickey settled the puck behind his own cage and angled a stretch pass to Kubiak at center ice, where the fifth-year forward did the rest. Kubiak dropped his shoulder and powered towards goaltender Pheonix Copley (14-8-3), capitalizing from the doorstep to make it 1-1.
The deadlock lasted just nine seconds, as Beck Malenstyn got the Bears back ahead with his eighth goal of the season and third in the last two games. Malenstyn skated to the right circle and twisted a pass to the slot, where it redirected off an Islander and underneath Schneider’s pads at 12:38.
Bridgeport outshot Hershey 17-12 in the final two frames, but both netminders were perfect the rest of the way in the 2-1 final. Arnaud Durandeau thought he had the tied the game at 13:21 of the third period on a wraparound conversion, but the goal was disallowed for goalie interference following Otto Koivula’s contact with Copley.
Schneider finished the night with 21 saves on 23 shots, while Copley stopped 27 of the 28 chances he faced. Bridgeport went 0-for-1 on the power play and played the entire game without going shorthanded.
Next Time Out: The Islanders tangle with the Providence Bruins tomorrow night in a 7:05 p.m. matchup at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The game can be heard online through the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, or seen via AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.