Recap: Bears 2, Islanders 1 (OT)Jan 29, 2022
Jakub Skarek stood on his head and Thomas Hickey broke a scoreless tie midway through the third period on Saturday, but the Bridgeport Islanders (15-18-4-4), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 2-1 loss in the overtime to the Hershey Bears (21-12-3-2) at Giant Center.
Mike Vecchione ripped a one-time shot past Skarek at 2:47 of the extra session, pushing the Bears to victory with their second power-play goal of the night. Skarek (12-8-4) made 33 saves to extend his unbeaten in regulation streak to seven games (5-0-2).
All three meetings between the Islanders and Bears have gone past 60 minutes. Bridgeport is 1-0-2-0 against Hershey this season.
Skarek and Bears goaltender Pheonix Copley were lights out all evening. They combined to make 32 saves through the first two periods and went toe-to-toe again in the third. Hickey finally snuck a rebound past Copley at the 7:08 mark to give Bridgeport a late advantage, sending a one-time blast over the goal line after Cole Bardreau’s initial shot from the right wing was blocked. It was Hickey’s third goal of the season and extended his point streak to three games (two goals, two assists).
The lead lasted just over two minutes though, as Shane Gersich responded on Hershey’s fourth power-play opportunity to even the score. Twelve seconds after Felix Bibeau was called for tripping, Jake Massie swung the puck around to Gersich above the right circle where he stepped into a one-timer for his 11th goal of the season.
Another tripping call in overtime, this one against Arnaud Durandeau, put the Bears on the man advantage for a fifth time and Vecchione ended the game with his seventh goal of the season. Vecchione set up above the left circle and cranked home Axel Jonsson-Fjallby’s pass for the 2-1 final.
Bridgeport ended the night 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the kill. Copley (12-7-2) made 26 saves for the Bears.
Next Time Out: The Islanders face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms next Wednesday morning in their first of two education day games at Webster Bank Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. The game can be heard online via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network and seen through AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 10:15 a.m.