The Bridgeport Report: Week 6Nov 22, 2022
By Dalton Rice | Bridgeport Islanders
Seven different players found the back of the net, including two goals from William Dufour, to pace the Bridgeport Islanders (9-3-3-0) to a 2-1-0-0 record last weekend. The Islanders are third in the Atlantic Division with 21 points through their first 15 games.
Beginning Friday, Bridgeport hosted the Charlotte Checkers (9-4-1-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the Florida Panthers, for the second time this month. Charlotte opened the scoring just 27 seconds in and added another tally at the 7:02 mark before Hudson Fasching scored his sixth goal of the year 10 minutes into the frame. In his third game since being recalled from the Worcester Railers (ECHL), Ryan MacKinnon recorded his first point of the season with a primary assist. The Checkers added two insurance goals in the third period to complete their 4-1 win. Jakub Skarek (3-2-2) made 14 saves.
Twenty-four hours later, the Islanders hosted the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the first time this season and snapped a four-game slide with a 4-2 victory. Pittsburgh’s affiliate started the scoring and held a 1-0 lead through the first period until Dufour struck on the power play, knotting the game at 1-1. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded with three minutes left in the second, but Otto Koivula fired back and buried the equalizer with 18 ticks left in the frame. The Islanders dominated from there, adding scores from Kyle MacLean and Parker Wotherspoon. Dufour, Koivula, and Wotherspoon each scored once and added an assist while Samuel Bolduc, Cole Bardreau, and Paul LaDue notched a helper. Cory Schneider (6-1-1) made 30 saves.
The Islanders hit the road on Sunday, traveling to Providence for the third time already this season. Bridgeport conceded the first goal before Dufour’s second tally of the weekend knotted the game at 1-1 just seven seconds after Boston’s affiliate made it 1-0. Chris Wagner put the Bruins back ahead until 7:51 of the third period, when Erik Brown snuck a rebound past goaltender Keith Kinkaid. Aatu Raty crowned himself the hero in overtime, scoring his third goal of the year 2:59 into the sudden-death period. Bolduc, Bardreau, and Vincent Sevigny added helpers in the 3-2 win. Skarek made 43 saves, setting a new career high and earning the AHL’s Second Star of the Night.
The Islanders return to action tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Hartford Wolf Pack at Total Mortgage Arena. Bridgeport battles the Rochester Americans on the road Friday, before returning home to host the Springfield Thunderbirds this Sunday at 3 p.m. The games can be seen on AHLTV.com and heard via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network.
The Week Ahead
Wednesday, Nov. 23 vs. Hartford (7 p.m.): Bridgeport hosts the Hartford Wolf Pack (5-5-1-3) for the third time this season. The Islanders have won each of the first two contests, outscoring the New York Rangers’ affiliate 10-5 in those outings. Tickets are on sale now.
Friday, Nov. 25 at Rochester (7:05 p.m.): The Islanders make their only trip to Rochester this season to face the Buffalo Sabres’ affiliate, Rochester Americans (8-5-1-1), on Black Friday. The teams met twice last season, with Bridgeport netting a 1-0-1-0 record.
Sunday, Nov. 27 vs. Springfield (3 p.m.): Bridgeport hosts Springfield (7-6-0-3) at Total Mortgage Arena this Sunday afternoon. It’s the third time the division rivals have faced off this season, with the Islanders holding a 1-0-1-0 record. Dennis Cholowski (three assists) and Ruslan Iskhakov (two goals, one assist) lead the team with three points each through two matchups against the St. Louis Blues’ affiliate. Tickets are on sale now.
Rolling on the Road: Bridgeport has earned points in seven straight road games dating back to Oct. 15th (4-0-3-0). Five of the last six road games have gone to overtime including three in a row. Every road game this season has been decided by just one goal aside from the Islanders’ 6-3 victory at Lehigh Valley on Oct. 29th and 3-1 loss to Providence on Oct. 14th.
First-Year Firepower: William Dufour (six goals) and Ruslan Iskhakov (10 assists) both rank within the top five among all AHL rookies in their respective categories. Dufour is fifth among all rookies in goals, while Iskhakov leads all rookies in assists. Iskhakov is also tied for the league lead among first-year players in points. Only Cleveland has skaters in the same standing. Aatu Raty is closing in with seven points (three goals, four assists) through 15 games.
Milestone Meter: Chris Terry is three games shy of 700 in his pro career… Samuel Bolduc is four games from 100 appearances (all with Bridgeport)... Hudson Fasching is five games away from 300 in his AHL career… Cory Schneider will make his 200th AHL appearance to go along with his 410 NHL games in his next start.
Quick Hits: Nikita Soshnikov made his Bridgeport debut on Friday, his first AHL game on since the 2018-19 season (with San Antonio)… Bridgeport is 10th best in the league in goals scored per game (3.47) and goals against per game (2.93)… Samuel Bolduc shares third place among all AHL defensemen in points (14), assists (12) and leads all blue-liners in power-play points (nine)… Andy Andreoff is tied for second in the AHL with five power-play goals.
Goals: Andy Andreoff, Hudson Fasching, Will Dufour (6)
Assists: Samuel Bolduc (12)
Points: Ruslan Iskhakov (14)
Plus/Minus: Otto Koivula, Dennis Cholowski, Hudson Fasching (+6)
Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (24)
Power-play Goals: Andy Andreoff (5)
Shots: Andy Andreoff (40)
Wins: Cory Schneider (6)
Across the Sound
Former Bridgeport forward Anthony Beauvillier scored the game-winning goal in overtime and Cal Clutterbuck became the NHL’s all-time hits leader in a 3-2 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs last night. Noah Dobson and former Bridgeport forward Josh Bailey also scored as the New York Islanders (12-8-0) finished their four-game road trip 2-2-0. The Islanders return to UBS Arena to face the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m., then head to Columbus, Ohio on Friday.