Recap: Islanders 2, Phantoms 1 (OT)

Recap: Islanders 2, Phantoms 1 (OT)

Apr 15, 2022

Otto Koivula set up Austin Czarnik just 26 seconds into overtime on Friday, as the Bridgeport Islanders (30-28-7-4), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, capped their season series against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (27-30-8-4) with a 2-1 comeback victory at the PPL Center.


Koivula had one goal and one assist to pace all skaters, while Cory Schneider (13-10-4) made 35 saves and extended his unbeaten in regulation streak to eight games (6-0-2). He lowered his save percentage to .924 in 28 appearances this season, which shares third place among all AHL netminders.


With the win, the Islanders jumped ahead of the Hartford Wolf Pack for the Atlantic Division’s sixth and final spot. Hartford lost to the Toronto Marlies on Friday, 4-1.




The Phantoms’ lone tally came with exactly one minute to play in the opening period, courtesy of Maksim Sushko. Max Willman carried the puck down the right side and centered a pass for Sushko, who was denied on the forehand but got his own rebound and finished on the backhand from the doorstep. It was Sushko’s 10th goal of the season and Lehigh Valley’s only conversion on 36 total shots.


Kyle MacLean had his 10th goal of the season get waived off just before Sushko broke the ice, with the officials ruling that the puck was kicked across the goal line following Jeff Kubiak’s try off the post.


The Islanders were outshot 21-8 in the second period, but scored the only goal when Koivula beat goaltender Felix Sandstrom at the 16:19 mark. Simon Holmstrom made some room down the right side, took a few strides, and guided a backdoor pass to a charging Koivula for his quick finish. It was his 12th goal of the season.


Schneider stopped all 21 shots he faced in the middle frame to set a new season high for saves in a single period.


Following a scoreless third that saw 13 combined shots, Koivula, Czarnik and Mitch Vande Sompel each took the ice to begin 3-on-3 overtime and one shift is all it took. Koivula skated to the right circle and directed a cross-ice pass for Czarnik’s one-time finish. The Islanders finished the season 4-1-1-0 against the Phantoms.


Bridgeport went 0-for-1 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.


Next Time Out: The Islanders tangle with the fifth-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in their road finale tomorrow night. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. inside Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The game can be heard online through the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, or seen via AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 5:45 p.m.

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