Recap: Islanders 2, Bears 1 (SO)

Recap: Islanders 2, Bears 1 (SO)

Jan 15, 2024

Ruslan Iskhakov scored his team-leading 13th goal of the season and Matthew Maggio posted the game-deciding tally on his first pro shootout attempt, lifting the Bridgeport Islanders (11-21-4-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, to a 2-1 win against the Hershey Bears (29-7-0-2) at Total Mortgage Arena on MLK Day.


The Bears entered the contest with a league-leading 29 wins and 59 points, but the Islanders hung with them all afternoon and escaped with the victory to complete a three-in-three series.


Henrik Tikkanen (3-2-0) turned aside 32 shots in his fifth AHL start, as the Bears outshot the Islanders in every period and 33-26 in the game.




Both Tikkanen and Hershey goaltender Clay Stevenson remained perfect through the first 40 minutes on Monday’s contest, with Tikkanen stopping 19 combined shots in two periods. The Islanders goaltender continued his terrific play six minutes into the third with a spectacular diving save during an Isles penalty kill. 


Bridgeport finally broke through 7:11 into the third with Iskhakov’s fifth goal in his last nine games. The 23-year-old dropped his shoulder on a rush down the right side and powered around defenseman Chase Priskie before rifling a shot up and over Stevenson’s shoulder. Otto Koivula and Tyce Thompson helped set up the goal and received assists on the play.


Priskie got his redemption about nine minutes later when the Bears recorded the equalizer with just 3:36 left in the regulation. Priskie fired home a one-time shot from the left circle that beat Tikkanen to make it 1-1. Mike Sgarbossa and Hardy Haman Aktell had the assists.


After a scoreless five-minute overtime, Bridgeport headed to its first shootout of the season and ended it in five rounds. Maggio recorded the game winner by stuffing a low shot under Stevenson from in tight, and joined William Dufour and Iskhakov with the shootout tallies.


Bridgeport finished the game 0-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. It was the league-leading 21st one-goal outcome for the Islanders this season.


Bridgeport improved to 7-4 when going beyond regulation.


Next Time Out: The Islanders return to Total Mortgage Arena on Saturday with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Hartford Wolf Pack. It's First Responders Night. The first 2,500 fans will receive a free challenge coin and the team will wear specialty warmup jerseys. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are on sale now. The game can be seen live on or heard for free via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, beginning with the Connecticut Lottery Pregame Countdown at 6:45 p.m.

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