Recap: Islanders 5, Crunch 2Mar 17, 2023
Andy Andreoff recorded his second hat trick of the season and matched a career high with four points, leading the Bridgeport Islanders (28-24-7-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, to a 5-2 win over the Syracuse Crunch (28-22-5-3) at Total Mortgage Arena on Friday.
Andreoff has five goals in the last three games and 29 on the season, setting a new career high and leaping into first place among all AHL players in goals.
Three Islanders recorded a multi-point performance, including Andreoff (three goals, one assist), Chris Terry (one goal, two assists) and Arnaud Durandeau (two assists). Collin Adams also scored for the second straight game with the middle tally in a three-goal second period.
Jakub Skarek (11-13-3) backstopped the win with 28 saves on 30 shots. The only two goals he allowed came early on Syracuse power-play opportunities. The Islanders went 3-for-5 on the penalty kill and 1-for-2 on the man advantage.
With the win and Hartford’s regulation loss to Springfield, the Islanders now hold the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot by three points. Bridgeport and Hartford each have 12 games left in the regular season heading into tomorrow’s head-to-head matchup.
Syracuse was first to the scoresheet with a power-play goal just three seconds into its first man advantage. Gabriel Dumont cleanly won a faceoff back to Trevor Carrick, where he unleashed a powerful slapshot over Skarek’s right shoulder at the 3:04 mark.
The Islanders bounced back with a three-goal second period to lead 3-1 after two. It began when Andreoff officially set a new career high with his 27th goal of the season at the 10:05 mark, knotting the score at 1-1. After a few shifts of heavy pressure, Terry muscled a pass through the top of the crease where Andreoff guided it past goaltender Max Lagace from the left post. Grant Hutton had the secondary assist.
Adams gave Bridgeport a 2-1 lead when he buried a rebound at the doorstep that Samuel Bolduc created with a long shot from the blue line. Kubiak was also credited with an assist.
Andreoff scored his second goal of the period on a clean breakaway just after he was released from the penalty box. He finished a hooking penalty, stepped out of the box, and received Durandeau’s stretch pass before moving in on Lagace and beating him on the forehand.
Bridgeport catapulted to a 4-1 lead 5:24 into the third period with a power-play goal from Terry, in which he one-timed home on Andreoff’s cross-ice pass. It gave both players a three-point night and was the Islanders’ fourth power-play goal in their last five games. Dennis Cholowski was credited with the secondary assist.
Syracuse pulled back to within two on Rudolfs Balcers’ sixth goal of the season with 2:59 left in the third period. He scored four seconds into a power play with Bolduc in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Andreoff completed his third career hat trick with a center-ice shot that found an empty net at 17:29, solidifying the victory.
The Islanders and Crunch finished their two-game season series with one win apiece.
Next Time Out: The Islanders take on the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday for “Girls Hockey Night” where the first 2,500 kids will receive a pink Bridgeport Islanders youth jersey. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the puck drops at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here and the game can also be seen live via AHLTV.com or heard on the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network.