Recap: Comets 5, Islanders 2Dec 16, 2022
The Bridgeport Islanders (14-7-5-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, lost in regulation on the road for the first time in more than two months on Friday, falling to the Utica Comets (9-9-3-1) at Adirondack Bank Center, 5-2.
Ruslan Iskhakov and Kyle MacLean each scored, while Cory Schneider (10-3-2) made 23 saves. It was Bridgeport’s first regulation loss on the road since its season opener on Oct. 14th at Providence, snapping a 10-game unbeaten in regulation streak.
The Islanders allowed four goals in the third period after leading by counts of 1-0 and 2-1.
Iskhakov put the Islanders on the board first when he beat Mackenzie Blackwood high to the glove side after a sequence of highlight-reel moves to cut in alone. It was also on a delayed penalty, where Iskhakov received Parker Wotherspoon’s pass and skated over the blue line, side-stepping several Comets’ defensemen before scoring his eighth goal of the season. Dennis Cholowski also had an assist.
Nolan Foote tied the game with a power-play goal at 16:14 of the second, solving Schneider for his seventh tally of the season. Bridgeport responded just over three minutes later to take a 2-1 lead at the second intermission courtesy of Kyle MacLean’s shorthanded goal. Jeff Kubiak sent a backhand shot to the goal line near a sprawled-out Blackwood, which was not signaled a goal but led to chaos at the crease. MacLean and Wotherspoon both arrived at the doorstep and MacLean forced home the go-ahead goal at 19:51.
It was Bridgeport’s fourth shorthanded goal of the season, sharing sixth in the AHL.
Despite MacLean’s late tally with time winding down in the second, the Islanders couldn’t sustain the momentum and allowed a season-high four goals in the third. Joe Gambardella, Ryan Schmelzer and Tyce Thompson all scored at even strength before Foote found the back of an empty net for his second goal of the game, and the 5-2 final.
Bridgeport went 0-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. Blackwood (1-1-0) stopped 31 shots.
Next Time Out: The Islanders face the Syracuse Crunch for the first time this season tomorrow night at 7 p.m. to continue a three-game road trip. Fans can watch all of the action online via AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.