The Bridgeport Report: Week 13Jan 11, 2022
The Bridgeport Islanders (12-16-3-4) collected five of six points during a three-game homestand last week, pushing their unbeaten in regulation streak to a season-high five games (2-0-2-1) to begin the new year.
Forwards Michael Dal Colle and Otto Koivula both extended their personal point streaks to at least five games, and Arnaud Durandeau logged an assist in each contest. Jakub Skarek won two games in the crease and split time with Cory Schneider, who returned to action for the first time since Dec. 15th and improved his personal unbeaten in regulation streak to five games (3-0-2).
The Islanders began the week on Wednesday with a hard-nosed, come-from-behind win against the Providence Bruins at Webster Bank Arena. Richard Panik had two points in the third period, including the game-winning goal with just 1:52 left, as Bridgeport bounced back from a 2-0 deficit in the second period and 3-2 deficit in the third for the 4-3 final. Thomas Hickey, Cole Bardreau and Collin Adams also scored once, while Skarek (9-8-3) made 28 saves.
Three days later, Skarek turned aside 34 shots and Bridgeport’s offense stayed hot in a 5-1 victory against the Charlotte Checkers. Bardreau had two more goals, while Dal Colle, Koivula and Jeff Kubiak also scored to defeat Charlotte 5-1 for the second time in the last three meetings. Simon Holmstrom added an assist in his 100th AHL game.
Charlotte bounced back to get the best of the Islanders on Sunday afternoon, but it took eight rounds of a marathon shootout to decide the 3-2 final. Bridgeport again rallied from a two-goal deficit in the second period with consecutive goals from Dal Colle and Parker Wotherspoon, earning the Islanders a point for the fifth straight game to begin 2022. Schneider (3-6-2) made 31 saves in his 11th appearance of the season.
The seventh-place Isles, American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, tangle with the Hershey Bears (18-10-2-1) and Providence Bruins (13-9-3-1) this week as they cross the halfway point of the regular season. Fans can follow all of the live action via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning 20 minutes prior to puck drop.
The Week Ahead
Wednesday, Jan. 12 at Hershey Bears (7 p.m.) – The Islanders open a three-game road trip this Wednesday with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Hershey Bears at Giant Center. It’s the second of six meetings between the two clubs and the second of three in Hershey. Chris Terry and Erik Brown each scored in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Bears on Jan. 2nd.
Sunday, Jan. 16 at Providence Bruins (3:05 p.m.) – Following a rare Friday and Saturday night off, the Islanders will face the Providence Bruins on Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. It’s the sixth of 12 meetings between the Isles and Bruins and the second of six in Rhode Island. Bridgeport is 2-1-0-2 against Boston’s top affiliate in 2021-22.
Michael Dal Goal: No one is hotter than Michael Dal Colle for the Bridgeport Islanders, who scored his seventh goal of the season on Sunday and extended his point streak to six games (four goals, two assists) for the second time in his career. Dal Colle has five goals in his last eight games, and his seven goals and 11 points have come in just 13 contests this season, putting him third on the team in points-per-game (0.85). He also ranks second in shooting percentage (26.9%). The 25-year-old is four games shy of his 300th professional appearance.
Koivula’s Helping Hand: Just like Dal Colle, Otto Koivula has points in every game of 2022 so far. He extended his scoring streak to five games on Sunday with an assist on the game-tying tally in the third period, his team-leading 18th helper of the season. Koivula is tied for seventh among all AHL players in assists and is tied for 16th in points (25). He is second on the Islanders in scoring behind Chris Terry’s 26 points.
Schneider Stays Sharp: Cory Schneider is 3-0-2 in his last five starts dating back to Nov. 27th, recording a 1.93 goals-against-average and .932 save percentage over that span. The 35-year-old netminder is 3-6-2 overall this season with a 2.79 goals-against-average and .912 saves rate. He’s allowed two goals or less in five of his last seven starts.
Free Hockey Frenzy: The Islanders have gone past regulation in three of their last five games and five of their last 11. In addition, Bridgeport has gone to overtime on 10 occasions this season, tied for second-most in the entire league. The Islanders are 3-7 overall when needing extra time: 2-3 in five-minute overtime sessions and 1-4 in shootouts.
Quick Hits: Arnaud Durandeau is on a three-game point/assist streak… He has points in five of his last six contests… Chris Terry missed each of the last three games, but continues to pace the Islanders in goals (11) and points (26)… His 26 points are tied for 11th in the AHL and his 101 shots rank third… Cole Bardreau has three goals in his last three games and six goals in his last nine… He is second among all AHL players in shooting percentage (7-for-22, 31.8%) and has seven goals in 15 appearances this season… Jakub Skarek has started seven of Bridgeport’s last 10 games in net… He is fourth in the AHL in minutes played (1,226:11) and saves (576)... Thomas Hickey played his 700th pro game between the AHL and NHL on Wednesday, and scored his first goal since Feb. 17, 2019.
Goals: Chris Terry (11)
Assists: Otto Koivula (18)
Points: Chris Terry (26)
Plus/Minus: Jeff Kubiak (+7)
Penalty Minutes: Parker Wotherspoon (44)
Shots: Chris Terry (101)
Games Played: Kyle MacLean (35)
Wins: Jakub Skarek (9)
Across the Sound: The New York Islanders (10-12-6) have played just one game in the last 10 days and two games since Christmas. They defeated the Edmonton Oilers at UBS Arena, 3-2 in overtime, on New Year’s Day and topped the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1 on Dec. 30th. New York is scheduled is scheduled to host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night and the Washington Capitals this Saturday afternoon.