Recap: Wolf Pack 3, Islanders 2Dec 30, 2023
The Bridgeport Islanders (9-18-2-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, scored two goals in the first period on Saturday night but suffered a 3-2 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack (16-7-5-0) in their final game of 2023 at the XL Center.
Samuel Asselin redirected Robin Salo’s rising shot for a power-play goal in the opening five minutes of the game, while Ruslan Iskhakov recorded his team-leading 10th goal of the season on a deflection from Seth Helgeson shortly after. Ken Appleby (5-5-0) made 22 saves.
The Islanders dominated most of the first period and led 2-0 at the intermission. Asselin’s goal at the 4:47 mark was his fifth of the season and third on the power-play, assisted by Salo and Kyle MacLean. Iskhakov altered Helgeson’s slap shot taken above the left circle at 13:42, his second goal in as many nights. It also extended his point streak to a team-high five games.
Hartford bounced back with a pair of power-play goals on 13 shots in the second period to pull even. Karl Henriksson converted around Appleby at 4:16 for his fifth goal of the season, and Brett Berard barreled to the crease on another man advantage less than four minutes later. Berard jammed home a second rebound during a scramble in tight for his eighth goal of the year.
Cristiano DiGiacinto deflected home the difference maker at 6:57 of the third period on a textbook tip following Connor Mackey’s blue-line blast. He caught just enough of the point shot while moving through the left circle to beat Appleby’s glove.
The Islanders went 1-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill. Bridgeport outshot Hartford 30-25.
Next Time Out: The Islanders open a five-game homestand at Total Mortgage Arena on Thursday night with a 7 p.m. rematch against the Wolf Pack. The game can be seen live on AHLTV.com or heard for free via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, beginning with the Connecticut Lottery Pregame Countdown at 6:45 p.m.