Recap: Islanders 4, Checkers 3Feb 11, 2022
The Bridgeport Islanders (17-19-4-4), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, scored three times in the third period, including twice in the span of 10 seconds, to earn a 4-3 victory against the Charlotte Checkers (22-18-2-0) at Bojangles Coliseum on Friday.
Chris Terry and Otto Koivula each scored twice and added an assist, while Jeff Kubiak logged two helpers. Arnaud Durandeau capitalized on a Checkers’ turnover to bury the game-winning goal in the final seven minutes, just 10 seconds after Terry scored on the power play.
Cory Schneider (5-9-2) made 32 saves in his third consecutive start.
The Islanders trailed 1-0 for the majority of the first two periods, but bounced back to improve to 3-2-0-1 in the season series. Dennis Cholowski put Charlotte on top at 4:05 of the opening frame with a goal in his team debut after being re-claimed off waivers by the Seattle Kraken this past week. After settling the puck in the right corner, Logan Hutsko dished a diagonal pass to the left circle where Cholowski inched in and beat Schneider’s blocker.
The Checkers carried their advantage into the final 1:10 of the second frame before Otto Koivula snuck a one-time shot past goaltender Joey Daccord for the equalizer. Once Daccord allowed that one, the floodgates opened, as the Islanders produced four goals in the next 15 minutes of game time.
Koivula’s 10th goal of the season, which made it 1-1, was forced home from the doorstep as he received Paul Thompson’s cross-ice pass in transition. Terry created the rush with a feed to Thompson over the blue line.
Cole Bardreau gave Bridgeport its first lead of the night at 5:01 of the third period, redirecting Grant Hutton’s long shot from the point for his first goal since Jan. 8th when he had two against Charlotte. In fact, five of Bardreau’s eight goals on the season have come against the Checkers, including five goals in five appearances.
Connor Carrick had two third-period goals to keep Charlotte within striking distance, his first coming at the 10:43 mark when he set up in the left circle and cranked home Kole Lind’s pass. It tied the game at 2-2, but less than two minutes later, Terry converted the game’s only power-play tally to give Bridgeport the lead for good.
The Islanders won the ensuing faceoff and immediately forced the puck deep, allowing Kubiak to drive hard on the forecheck and steal the puck from Daccord, who wandered behind his net to retrieve it. Kubiak forced a turnover and set up Durandeau in front for his seventh goal of the season.
Carrick recorded the game’s final tally at 18:27 with an unassuming wrist shot from the blue line that changed directions and sailed end-over-end past Schneider’s shoulder.
Bridgeport went 1-for-6 on the power play and a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.
The physical and hard-nosed contest featured 72 combined penalty minutes, with 46 of those coming in the second period alone.
Next Time Out: The Islanders conclude a three-game road trip tomorrow night with a 6 p.m. rematch against the Checkers at Bojangles Coliseum. The game can be heard online via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network and seen through AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 5:45 p.m.