Recap: Islanders 6, Wolf Pack 5 (SO)Dec 22, 2021
Grant Hutton scored twice for the first time in his pro career and Jakub Skarek made 35 saves, steering the Bridgeport Islanders (10-14-1-3), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, to a 6-5 shootout win against the Hartford Wolf Pack (13-6-2-2) at the XL Center on Wednesday.
Thirteen different players had at least a point for Bridgeport, which scored at least five goals for the third time in its last six games. The Islanders improved to 4-0-0-0 when scoring five or more and 2-4-0-0 against the Wolf Pack this season.
Jeff Kubiak, Michael Dal Colle and Paul Thompson also beat Hartford netminder Keith Kinkaid (10-1-2) at even strength, helping the Islanders win two of three games on their road trip.
Kubiak’s second goal in the last three games opened the scoring just 3:31 in, giving the Islanders a 1-0 lead for the fourth straight contest. Mitch Vande Sompel stretched a pass to Bardreau in the neutral zone, where he drove through the right circle and centered a pass for Kubiak’s finish. The primary assist extended Bardreau’s point streak to four games.
Dal Colle doubled the Isles’ lead exactly one minute into the second. His fourth goal in eight games this season came on a deflection, as Paul LaDue’s slap shot near the top of the right circle was altered to make it 2-0. Chris Terry recorded the secondary helper, his team-leading 23rd point of the year (nine goals, 14 assists).
The Islanders kept the peddle down at 10:17 of the middle frame, when Hutton buried long a slap shot to make it 3-0 on his fourth goal of the season. Thompson completed a three-goal second period at 17:10 when he and Erik Brown teamed up on a rush into the Hartford zone. Brown’s assist pushed his point streak to a career-high three games.
Although the Islanders scored three times in the second, Hartford lit the lamp twice in the frame to stay close after 40 minutes. Ty Ronning’s seventh goal of the season came just 42 seconds after Hutton’s goal to make it 3-1, and Austin Rueschhoff converted 46 seconds after Thompson’s goal for a 4-2 score after two.
Hunter Skinner pounded a slap shot past Skarek’s blocker 3:59 into the third period to pull Hartford back to within one, but Hutton responded with the night’s only power-play goal at 5:55 to give Bridgeport a 5-3 advantage. With Patrick Khodorenko in the box for tripping, Simon Holmstrom found Hutton above the right circle, where he filtered another slap shot through traffic and past Kinkaid for his fifth tally of the season. Thomas Hickey also logged an assist in his 699th pro game.
Jonny Brodzinski and Anthony Greco went back-to-back less than two minutes apart to tie the game in the final eight minutes and eventually force the first overtime session in six meetings between the rivals this season.
Bridgeport outshot Hartford 5-1 in overtime, including two key chances from Hutton in his quest for a hat trick, but Kinkaid made a couple of highlight-reel saves to force a four-round shootout. Terry and Vande Sompel each scored in the skills competition, while Brodzinski had Hartford’s only tally.
Bridgeport went 1-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the kill.
Next Time Out: The Islanders return from their holiday break on Tuesday, Dec. 28th to face the Springfield Thunderbirds at 7 p.m. inside Webster Bank Arena. Join us for more holiday hockey, with $10 kids’ tickets available at the Yale New Haven Health Box Office! Fans can also follow the action all season long via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network and AHLTV.