Recap: Islanders 7, Crunch 4

Recap: Islanders 7, Crunch 4

Mar 19, 2022

Austin Czarnik recorded a career-high four assists and Richard Panik scored twice and added one assist as the Bridgeport Islanders (24-25-6-4), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, posted seven goals for the second straight Saturday in a 7-4 win against the Syracuse Crunch (27-22-6-2) at Total Mortgage Arena.


Simon Holmstrom matched a career high with three points (one goal, two assists) and Jakub Skarek (15-11-5) stopped a career-high 42 shots to help Bridgeport sweep its two-game season series against Tampa’s affiliate, which lost in regulation for the first time in six games. Otto Koivula also had two assists.


The seventh-place Islanders pushed their unbeaten in regulation streak to four games (3-0-1-0) and kept pace behind the sixth-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot. The Penguins defeated Utica tonight, 3-2.




The Islanders never trailed in front of 5,173 energetic fans and scored four times in the third period to pull away from a relentless Syracuse club. Twelve of Bridgeport’s 18 skaters recorded at least one point in the contest.


Andy Andreoff deflected Paul LaDue’s shot from the right point just 56 seconds into the game to make it 1-0 on Crunch goaltender Corbin Kaczperski. Holmstrom also logged an assist by guiding a pass to LaDue from the right corner. Andreoff’s tip turned into his 15th goal of the season and his ninth in Bridgeport’s last 11 home games.


Panik doubled the Islanders’ advantage early in the second with another quick tally to open a period. He and Czarnik raced down the ice in transition to set up a 2-on-1 rush, in which Czarnik fed to the back post for Panik’s one-time finish at the 3:06 mark.


Syracuse followed up with two tallies just 1:26 apart to even the tilt at the midway mark. Simon Ryfors scored his fifth goal of the season at 8:25 and then Anthony Richard secured his 10th goal of the year at 9:51. Ryfors also logged an assist on the second Crunch goal, one of three visiting players to record a multi-point performance.


The Islanders inched back ahead, 3-2, courtesy of Erik Brown’s sixth goal of the season at 11:05 of the middle frame. He deflected Sam Bolduc’s long slapshot past Kaczperski’s glove for another even-strength goal.


Otto Somppi’s equalizer in the final two minutes of the second was the first of three combined power-play goals, earning his fifth goal of the season at 18:54. The game remained tied 3-3 entering the third period despite Syracuse outshooting Bridgeport 21-8 in the second.


The Islanders broke away for good with three straight goals just over seven minutes apart in the third. Grant Hutton received Panik’s pass above the right circle and netted his seventh goal of the season at 1:08 before Panik secured the eventual game-winner at 6:25. Czarnik pulled the puck away from the end wall during a hard battle behind the Syracuse net, and delivered a perfect pass to Panik in front, where he roofed a backhand shot over Kaczperski’s glove.


Arnaud Durandeau converted on a backhanded wraparound attempt for a power-play goal at the 12:03 mark to make it 6-3. It was Durandeau’s sixth goal in his last 10 games and his 13th of the season, extending a career high.


Gage Goncalves got one back for the Crunch during a 6-on-4 advantage at 13:42 of the third period, but Holmstrom notched an empty-netter from Czarnik and Andreoff to complete the scoring. Holmstrom’s eighth goal of the season and first since March 4th came with just 91 seconds remaining.


The Islanders went 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill in a wild game that saw 52 combined penalty minutes.


Next Time Out: The Islanders return to the road on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. matchup against the Utica Comets, AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, at the Adirondack Bank Center. 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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