Recap: Bruins 6, Islanders 3

Recap: Bruins 6, Islanders 3

Dec 1, 2023

The Bridgeport Islanders (6-12-1-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, scored one goal on the power play, once shorthanded, and once at even strength in a 6-3 loss to the Providence Bruins (9-8-1-2) at Amica Mutual Pavilion on Friday.


Karson Kuhlman had one goal and one assist against his former team, while Tyce Thompson notched an assist in his Bridgeport debut. The Islanders hung with the Bruins in the first and third periods, but surrendered five goals in the second, which was too much to overcome.




It didn’t take long for tempers to boil over on Friday, as Eetu Liukas and Joey Abate tangled up and dropped the gloves just 3:38 into the game. Liukas and Abate traded hits on opposite ends of the ice before agreeing to an altercation in front of the benches, which set the tone for an evening that featured 44 combined penalty minutes.


The game remained scoreless until 1:04 of the second period when Marc McLaughlin collected his fourth goal of the season, from John Farinacci and Luke Toporowski. It sparked a five-goal middle frame for Boston’s affiliate. Former Bridgeport defenseman Parker Wotherspoon followed up just 5:06 later with his first Bruins goal on a lengthy shot from the point that beat Jakub Skarek (3-9-1).


Otto Koivula cut the deficit in half at the 8:44 mark with a sweeping backhand shot from just above the crease. Kyle MacLean dug the puck out of the left corner and found Kuhlman near the left faceoff dot, where the latter immediately fed Koivula at the doorstep. Koivula turned on the backhand and lifted a rising shot over goalie Michael DiPietro’s (4-3-0) outstretched glove for his third goal of the season.


The Bruins retaliated with each of the next four goals to take a 6-1 lead early in the third period. Among those tallies, Anthony Richard tipped in another lengthy Wotherspoon try, and Georgii Merkulov recorded the eventual game-winner at 14:10 of the second. Brett Harrison scored his first professional goal on the power play at 19:05 of the period.


Kuhlman capitalized shorthanded at 15:16 of the third period for his second point of the night and fourth goal in the last seven games. Kuhlman established a burst of speed in the neutral zone and skated to a loose puck, driving around the Bruins’ defense and beating DiPietro with a low shot. Just 62 seconds later during a Mason Lohrei tripping penalty, Ruslan Iskhakov snapped home a terrific shot from the left circle for his team-leading seventh goal.


The Islanders went 1-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill. Bridgeport has scored a power-play goal in three straight games and four of its last five.


The contest ended just as physical as it began. Abate and Seth Helgeson dropped the gloves late in the third period and Abate was given a game misconduct for his second altercation of the night.


The Islanders fell to 1-3-0-0 against the Bruins this season.


Next Time Out: The Islanders square off against Providence tomorrow night in a 7 p.m. rematch at Total Mortgage Arena. It’s ‘Teddy Bear Drive’ Night, where one lucky fan will win $2,500 cash courtesy of Coca-Cola. Donate a new toy or stuffed animal upon entry and receive a golden raffle ticket for your chance to win. The winner will be selected immediately after the Islanders score their first goal. All toys will be donated to the Hometown Foundation. Tickets for Saturday’s contest are on sale now.


Tomorrow’s rematch can be seen live on or heard via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, beginning with the Connecticut Lottery Pregame Countdown at 6:45 p.m.

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