The Bridgeport Report: Week 9Dec 15, 2022
By Dalton Rice | Bridgeport Islanders
The Bridgeport Islanders (14-6-5-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, battled through four games in six days over the last week, including a three-in-three series against the Atlantic Division leaders, Hershey and Providence.
Bridgeport remains third in the division with 33 points in 25 games.
The Islanders also took on the Springfield Thunderbirds at Total Mortgage Arena on Wednesday, earning a hard-fought point in a 2-1 overtime loss. Vincent Sevigny tied the game with an unassisted goal in the third period and Cory Schneider (10-2-2) made 32 saves against the St. Louis Blues’ farm team. It was his fifth straight game with 30 or more stops.
The Islanders struggled to contain the Washington Capitals’ affiliate in their first of three games in as many days over the weekend, falling to the Hershey Bears (17-5-2-1) on Friday at home. The Bears’ top line notched 10 points (four goals, six assists) alone. Even though they were outshot 21-10 in the first period, Bridgeport went to intermission in a 1-1 tie thanks to an early goal from Ruslan Iskhakov. Cole Bardreau kept Bridgeport close with a score 22 seconds into the third period, but the Islanders conceded an empty-net goal in the final minute, losing 4-2. Schneider made 37 saves and tied an AHL season high with 20 stops in the first period.
Goals from Chris Terry and Paul Thompson were not enough on Teddy Bear Toss night this past Saturday as the Islanders dropped a 3-2 setback to the Providence Bruins (15-4-3-2) at home. Terry sent the stuffed animals flying just 5:34 in, but two goals coming less than two minutes apart late in the third period for the Boston Bruins’ affiliate was too much to overcome. Jakub Skarek (4-4-3) made 24 saves. Bridgeport going 1-for-2 on the power play.
Andy Andreoff (two goals), Aatu Raty (one goal, two assists), Otto Koivula (one goal, one assist), and Will Dufour (one goal, one assist) all recorded multi-point games in a 5-2 victory in Providence on Sunday. A physical game full of extracurriculars snapped a three-game slide for the Islanders, bringing their season record against the Bruins to 4-3-0-0. Schneider made 40 saves, a new season-high, in a game where both teams racked up at least 35 shots on target.
The Islanders begin a three-game road trip tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Utica Comets at the Adirondack Bank Center. Bridgeport also faces the Syracuse Crunch this weekend, meeting for the first time this Saturday at 7 p.m. Fans can follow all of the live action via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network and AHLTV.
The Week Ahead
Friday, Dec. 16 at Utica Comets (7 p.m.): The first of two matchups against the New Jersey Devils’ affiliate kicks off tomorrow night at the Adirondack Bank Center. Last season, Paul LaDue led the Islanders with three points (two goals, one assist) in two wins against the Comets. Utica currently ranks seventh in the North Division (8-9-3-1).
Saturday, Dec. 17 at Syracuse Crunch (7 p.m.): The Islanders make their only trip to Syracuse, N.Y. this Saturday night for the first of two meetings against the Syracuse Crunch (10-9-2-2). Last season, Bridgeport scored 10 goals in two games against the Tampa Bay Lightning affiliate for a perfect 2-0-0-0 record. Syracuse enters the weekend fourth in the North.
PK Punishers: Bridgeport has killed off 15 of 17 opponent power plays in its last four games, giving them an 83.2% success rate this season. That shares eighth best in the AHL. The Islanders were a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill against Hershey on Friday and 4-for-4 against Providence on Sunday.
Knocking Off the Rust: Ruslan Iskhakov’s five-game point streak (three goals, two assists) came to an end on Sunday, but not before climbing back into the top five among AHL rookie scorers. Iskhakov shares second in the AHL in that category with 19 points on the season (seven goals, 12 assists). He is fourth on the Islanders in scoring.
Death, Taxes, Chris Terry: Veteran forward and five-time AHL All-Star Chris Terry has 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in his last 10 games, continuing to average better than a point-per-game: 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 19 appearances. Terry leads the Islanders in both points and assists through 25 games. He and Parker Wotherspoon both had a three-game point streak come to an end on Wednesday.
Quick Hits: Andy Andreoff’s third-period goal against Providence on Sunday was the 100th of his AHL career… Bridgeport has hit on 23 of its 85 power-play opportunities (27.1%), good for fourth best in the AHL… The Islanders have scored 89 goals this season, tied with Syracuse for most in the league.
Goals: Andy Andreoff (13)
Assists: Chris Terry (17)
Points: Chris Terry (23)
Plus/Minus: Parker Wotherspoon (+12)
Penalty Minutes: Kyle Maclean (37)
Power-Play Goals: Andy Andreoff (7)
Shots: Andy Andreoff (67)
Wins: Cory Schneider (10)
Across the Sound
The New York Islanders (17-12-1) took the NHL-leading Boston Bruins to a shootout on Tuesday, earning a point at TD Garden in a 4-3 setback that opened a five-game road trip. Former Bridgeport forwards Josh Bailey and Casey Cizikas both scored, and Noah Dobson also lit the lamp. The Islanders are fourth in the Metropolitan Division as they head west to take on the Arizona Coyotes tomorrow night and the Vegas Golden Knights this Saturday.