Recap: Islanders 4, Americans 3 (OT)Oct 13, 2023
Ruslan Iskhakov scored his second goal of the night just 21 seconds into overtime and Brian Pinho recorded a career-high four assists to lead the Bridgeport Islanders (1-0-0-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, to a 4-3 win against the Rochester Americans (0-0-1-0) in their season opener at Blue Cross Arena.
Dennis Cholowski added one goal and two assists, joining Pinho and Iskhakov (two goals, one assist) with at least three points on Friday night. Jakub Skarek (1-0-0) made 24 saves and has now won five of his last seven decisions dating back to last season.
The Islanders outshot the Amerks 42-27 and went 1-for-2 on the power play, including Arnaud Durandeau’s clutch game-tying goal late in the third period.
Bridgeport scored each of the first two goals and led 2-0 after 20 minutes. Cholowski notched the Islanders’ first goal of the season just 1:47 into the game when he threw an unassuming shot at goaltender Devin Cooley that tucked inside the top left corner. Pinho fired a shot from the right side that Iskhakov deflected on net, leading to a loose puck up the wall for Cholowski.
Iskhakov capitalized again for his second point of the period at the 12:27 mark, skating to the slot and ripping home a one-timer on Pinho’s setup. Matthew Maggio collected the secondary assist after holding the puck in from the right point following three consecutive shots on goal.
The Islanders outshot Rochester 15-7 in the first period and dominated possession entering the second, but the Amerks battled back to tie the contest 2-2. Linus Weissbach pulled the Americans within one at 1:46 of the middle frame before Isak Rosen redirected Ethan Prow’s wrist shot past Skarek with less than four seconds to go in the period.
Brandon Biro gave Rochester its first lead of the night at 8:46 of the third period when he cruised down the right wing and buried Brett Murray’s cross-ice pass through the slot. It put the Islanders in a dangerous spot, but Biro took an interference penalty at the 14:35 mark and Durandeau altered Cholowski’s floater from the blue line for a power-play goal shortly after.
It was the fifth consecutive meeting between the Islanders and Amerks that’s needed extra time. Iskhakov secured the winner in the opening half-minute when he skated to Cholowski’s drop-pass over the blue line and sent a dart past Cooley’s stick.
William Dufour finished with a game-high eight shots on goal.
Next Time Out: The Islanders continue their season-opening three-game road trip tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Syracuse Crunch at Upstate Medical University Arena. The game can be seen for free on AHLTV.com or heard on the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network.