Recap: Islanders 4, Comets 1

Recap: Islanders 4, Comets 1

Mar 23, 2022

Paul LaDue scored twice to match a career high and Simon Holmstrom remained productive in the offense zone with two assists, helping the Bridgeport Islanders (25-25-6-2, .500), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, earn a 4-1 win against the Utica Comets (35-14-6-1, .688) at the Adirondack Bank Center on Wednesday.


All four of Bridgeport’s goals were tallied by defensemen, as Grant Hutton also capitalized on the power play and Mitch Vande Sompel scored his first goal of the season. Cory Schneider (9-10-3) made 30 saves on 31 shots, and only allowed a shorthanded goal during the first period. Schneider is 5-1-1 in his last seven starts.


With the win, the Islanders swept the two-game season series against the best team in the Eastern Conference and got its record back to .500 for the first time since Nov. 12th.


The Islanders are now 4-0-1-0 in their last five games and just .017 percentage points outside of a playoff spot.




Vande Sompel got the ball rolling just 4:56 into the game when he beat New Jersey Devils’ prospect Akira Schmid for his first goal since April 13, 2019. Holmstrom pulled the puck down the right-wing wall after receiving a pass from Chris Terry and set up Vande Sompel near the top of the right circle. Vande Sompel found an opening past Schmid’s blocker to make it 1-0.


The Comets tied the score at the 13:52 mark in the back half of a hooking penalty against Patrick McGrath. With Bridgeport on the power play, Aarne Talvitie hustled to a loose puck near the benches and launched Joe Gambardella for a shorthanded breakaway. Gambardella was stopped by Schneider on the initial try, but Talvitie followed and scored on the rebound to make it 1-1.


The contest was all Bridgeport after that. The Islanders recorded three unanswered goals to surge to victory, including Hutton’s eventual game-winner at 3:37 of the second period on the man advantage. With just 13 seconds remaining on an early power-play, Holmstrom raced across the Comets’ line and left the puck for Arnaud Durandeau, who quickly fed Hutton on the right wing. Hutton skated near the bottom of the circle and wristed home his eighth goal of the season.


LaDue made it 3-1 less than three minutes later when he trailed a furious rush in transition and polished off a rebound from the doorstep. Koivula and Austin Czarnik each recorded an assist. Czarnik also aided in LaDue’s second goal of the night at 12:16 of the third period, giving him three multi-point performances in his last five games. Czarnik cruised into the Utica zone and dropped a pass for Michael Dal Colle, who directed the puck to the deep slot for LaDue’s one-time finish.


The Islanders have scored four or more goals in six of their last 10 games and improved to 18-1-1-0 when doing so.


Bridgeport finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill. Schmid (18-6-3) had 27 saves on 31 shots against.


Next Time Out: The Islanders continue a four-game road trip on Saturday afternoon with their final game against the Toronto Marlies this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 4 p.m. inside Coca-Cola Coliseum. The game can be heard online through the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, or seen via AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.

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