Recap: Islanders 3, Comets 2 (OT)Dec 4, 2021
Richard Panik scored the game-winning goal just 43 seconds into overtime on Saturday, pushing the Bridgeport Islanders (7-11-1-2), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, to a 3-2 victory against the Utica Comets (16-1-1-0) at Webster Bank Arena.
It was just the second loss this season for the first-place Comets, and their first setback on the road. Bridgeport won its second straight game, as the club opened a season-long, five-game homestand.
Simon Holmstrom and Seth Helgeson each scored in regulation and the Islanders led 2-1 for most of the night, but Reilly Walsh tied the game in the final three minutes of regulation to force overtime. Schneider (2-6-0) made 29 saves in his second straight win.
Nolan Foote put the Comets ahead 1-0 just 2:48 into the contest with his fourth goal of the season. He settled Graeme Clarke’s pass on the right wing and skated to the circle before lifting a wrist shot above Schneider’s glove and into the top half of the net.
Helgeson got the Islanders on the board for the first time at 19:04 of the opening period, answering Utica’s early goal with his first tally of the season. Panik received a pass from Paul LaDue and started a rush into the Comets’ zone, eventually centering a pass for Helgeson’s back-door finish to make it 1-1. It was the first of two points on the night for both Helgeson and Panik, and the first goal allowed for Utica netminder Akira Schmid in 154 minutes and 46 seconds of action. He entered the game with back-to-back shutouts.
From the final minute of the first period to the opening 91 seconds of the middle frame, the Islanders took at 2-1 lead early in the second. Chris Terry bumped the puck to Holmstrom in the left circle and Holmstrom filtered a slow-moving shot between Schmid’s pads for his fourth goal of the season. Helgeson also recorded an assist for his first multi-point effort since Oct. 29, 2019.
The Islanders held their 2-1 advantage until late in the third period, allowing a goal to Walsh and the Comets at the 17:06 mark. It ultimately got Utica one point, but Panik scored the game-winner early in overtime after Andy Andreoff, who was just returned on loan by the New York Islanders earlier in the day, advanced the puck into the Comets’ zone. Panik retrieved it and beat Schmid with a shot into the top-left corner.
Bridgeport went 0-for-3 on the power play, but 1-for-1 on the penalty kill. The Islanders outshot the Comets 32-31.
Next Time Out: The Islanders host the Charlotte Checkers (9-9-2-0) at 3 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, the first of eight meetings between the two clubs this season. It wraps up Superhero Weekend at Webster Bank Arena. The first 1,000 lucky fans will take home a limited-edition Comic Book Poster. Doors open at 2 p.m. and tickets are on sale now! Fans can also follow the action all season long via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network and AHLTV.