Recap: Bears 4, Islanders 0Feb 3, 2024
The Bridgeport Islanders (13-25-5-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, tested Hershey Bears (36-8-0-2) goaltender Hunter Shepard with 25 shots but failed to score in a 4-0 loss at Giant Center on Saturday.
Ken Appleby (5-6-0) made 24 saves in his first AHL start since Dec. 30th, as Bridgeport was outshot 28-25. The Islanders enter the 2024 AHL All-Star break with two wins in their last three games, but on a five-game skid away from Total Mortgage Arena.
Shepard (18-2-1) recorded his second shutout of the season with 25 saves.
Hershey scored twice in the first period, once in the second, and one more time in the third en route to its league-leading 36th victory of the season. The Bears have won each of their last five home games.
Ivan Miroshnichenko connected with Pierrick Dube just 2:01 into the contest to put the Bears ahead. Dube recorded his 24th goal of the season on a one-time shot above the crease, beating Appleby’s glove following Miroshnichenko’s centering pass behind the net. Dube’s 24 goals are tied with Springfield’s Adam Gaudette for most in the AHL.
Former Bridgeport captain Aaron Ness made it 2-0 less than three minutes later with his third goal of the season. Joe Snively directed a diagonal cross-ice pass to the top of the left circle, where Ness sailed a wrist shot off the post and in. Hendrix Lapierre earned the secondary assist at the 4:40 mark.
Mike Vecchione collected his 14th goal of the season and Mike Sgarbossa notched his league-leading 36th assist at 4:02 of the second period. Alex Limoges slid a forehand shot between Appleby’s pads for his 11th goal of the season at 16:10 of the third to cap the 4-0 final.
The closest Bridgeport came to beating Shepard were a pair of shots that rang off the post in the second period. Carsen Twarynski and Tyce Thompson both drew iron during narrow misses.
The Islanders went 0-for-3 on the power play, but 1-for-1 on the penalty kill. Their kill enters the All-Star break 14-for-14 over the last four games.
Bridgeport finished its six-game season series against Hershey with a 1-4-1-0 record.
Next Time Out: The ‘Battle of Connecticut’ heats up next Friday, Feb. 9th, as the Islanders face the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m. and all of the action can be seen live on AHLTV.com or heard for free via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network.