Recap: Wolf Pack 4, Islanders 1Mar 6, 2022
Cole Bardreau scored his second shorthanded goal of the season on Sunday afternoon, but the Bridgeport Islanders (21-24-5-4), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, couldn’t extend their winning streak in a 4-1 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack (27-16-5-2) at the XL Center.
The Islanders had won each of their last three games to move into seventh place in the Atlantic Division standings, but Hartford struck first and ended the day with three more unanswered. Bridgeport fell to 3-6-0-0 in nine meetings against its in-state rival.
Mike O’Leary drew first blood for the Wolf Pack when he skated to the doorstep and redirected Hunter Skinner’s long slap shot past Jakub Skarek (13-11-4) at the 6:40 mark. It was O’Leary’s fifth goal of the season and Hartford’s first of two in the opening frame.
The Islanders answered just 2:07 later courtesy of Bardreau’s team-leading second shorthanded goal, and the team’s third on the season. A relentless forecheck between him and Jeff Kubiak had the Wolf Pack pinned in their end, and Bardreau forced his way to the net following a turnover and filtered a backhand shot past goaltender Adam Huska (7-6-4). It was his 10th goal of the season and second in as many days.
Another quick response favored the Wolf Pack this time to put the home team ahead 2-1 after 20 minutes. Nils Lundkvist caught Patrick Khodorenko’s diagonal pass between the circles and ripped a forehand shot over Skarek’s glove for his third goal of the year.
Hartford added two more tallies at even-strength in the second period to polish off the 4-1 win. Former Bridgeport forward Tanner Fritz settled a pass from Ty Ronning in the right circle and snapped a shot around Skarek to make it 3-1 at the 4:52 mark, before Abbott Girduckis celebrated his first AHL goal with a wrister near the high slot that at 13:46.
Head coach Brent Thompson pulled Skarek from the crease following Hartford’s fourth goal and replaced him with Cory Schneider (7-9-2), who made 18 saves on 18 shots in 26:14 of relief. Skarek made 14 saves on 18 chances in the setback.
The Wolf Pack outshot Bridgeport 36-24 in the contest and 15-6 in the third period, although neither team lit the lamp in the final frame. The Islanders went 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the kill.
Next Time Out: The Islanders tangle with the Hershey Bears at home next Friday before facing the Providence Bruins on the road Saturday and Sunday. Each game can be heard online through the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, or seen via AHLTV.