Recap: Crunch 4, Islanders 2Oct 14, 2023
Brian Pinho and Jackson Cates each scored their first goal with the Bridgeport Islanders on Saturday night, but the New York Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate suffered a 4-2 loss to the Syracuse Crunch at Upstate Medical University Arena.
Ruslan Iskhakov collected two assists for his second straight multi-point game after he had two goals and one assist last night in Rochester. He and Pinho (one goal, four assists) each have a team-leading five points through the first two games of the season.
Ken Appleby made 33 saves in his season debut between the pipes.
Devonte Stephens and Lucas Edmonds opened the scoring with two goals less than six minutes apart to put the Crunch ahead 2-0 in the first period. Stephens grabbed a loose puck and rushed to the left circle, beating Appleby with a sharp wrist shot at 9:09 before Edmonds battled for a rebound near the right post and forced home his second goal in as many nights at 14:48.
The Islanders answered with the next two goals to pull the score back even, including Pinho’s redirection between the pads of goaltender Hugo Alnefelt with 33.1 seconds left in the period. Grant Hutton guided a long-range shot from the blue line that Pinho deflected down ahead of the crease.
Cates tied the contest at 17:42 of the second with a tap-in goal following Alnefelt’s acrobatic save on Iskhakov. Aidan Fulp, in his season debut, found Iskhakov darting through the neutral zone and the second-year pro did the rest. Iskhakov weaved over the blue line, danced to an opening in the slot, and put an off-balance shot on target that created a rebound for Cates.
The Islanders and Crunch remained tied through the first eight minutes of the third period before Daniel Walcott recorded the eventual game-winner on a breakaway. Felix Robert potted a power-play goal at the 13:07 mark to end the scoring.
Bridgeport finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill. Syracuse led in shots, 37-23.
Next Time Out: The Islanders complete their season-opening three-game road trip on Wednesday with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Providence Bruins at Amica Mutual Pavilion. The game can be seen live on AHLTV.com or heard via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, beginning with the Connecticut Lottery Pre-Game Countdown at 6:45 p.m.