The Bridgeport Report: Week 13Jan 18, 2023
By Dalton Rice | Bridgeport Islanders
The Bridgeport Islanders (16-15-6-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, hit the halfway mark of their 2022-23 regular season this past week and got back on track with a pair of road wins in Springfield and Lehigh Valley.
The Islanders closed out a four-game week with a record of 2-2-0-0, steadying the ship to sit fifth in the Atlantic Division standings.
Bridgeport kicked off its busy stretch with a 3-1 loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday, hosting the Philadelphia Flyers’ affiliate for the first time this season. Andy Andreoff had the Islanders’ only goal against his former team before Bridgeport conceded three straight at Total Mortgage Arena. Ken Appleby (0-3-2) made 29 saves.
The home-and-home series shifted to PPL Center in Allentown, Penn. on Friday, where the Islanders won in overtime, 4-3, in the rematch. Andreoff, Jeff Kubiak, and Otto Koivula each scored in regulation before Aatu Raty buried his second sudden-death score of the season on a breakaway. Cory Schneider (12-3-2) made 25 saves in his first start since Dec. 16th, helping the Islanders snap an 11-game slide.
Bridgeport returned home on Saturday to face the Utica Comets for the second and final time this season, skating to a 5-1 loss. Koivula had the only goal for Bridgeport, while both Appleby (seven saves on 10 shots) and Jakub Skarek (19 saves on 21 shots) saw action between the pipes.
The Islanders claimed their second straight road win against the Springfield Thunderbirds on Monday, scoring six goals in a game for the fifth time this season. Raty, Kubiak, Will Dufour, Cole Bardreau, Ruslan Iskhakov, and Arnaud Durandeau lit the lamp for Bridgeport in a 6-2 victory on MLK Day. Schneider made 41 saves on 43 shots, both season highs. The Islanders went 1-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill, with Kubiak’s tally coming shorthanded.
Bridgeport returns to Total Mortgage Arena this weekend with a Friday-Saturday doubleheader against the Rochester Americans (19-12-1-1) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (18-11-2-3). Both games begin at 7 p.m. and will be available online at AHLTV.com and the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network.
The Week Ahead
Friday, Jan. 20 vs. Rochester Americans (7 p.m.): The Islanders take on the Buffalo Sabres’ affiliate, Rochester Americans, for their second and final time this season. It’s the only meeting of the year at Total Mortgage Arena. Last time out, the Amerks earned a 6-5 overtime win on Nov. 25th, when Andy Andreoff scored a hat trick and Chris Terry added three assists at Blue Cross Arena. Tickets are available here!
Saturday, Jan. 21 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (7 p.m.): Bridgeport hosts the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on “Cancer Awareness Night” at Total Mortgage Arena. The Islanders have taken each of the first two meetings including a 5-1 win on Dec. 3rd. Dufour (two goals, one assist) and Terry (one goal, two assists) share the team lead in points against the Pittsburgh Penguins’ affiliate. Tickets are on sale now!
Headed to The Island: The New York Islanders recalled forward William Dufour and defenseman Dennis Cholowski this morning. Dufour had points in three straight games and nine of his last 10 in the AHL. His 13 goals are tied for fourth among all AHL rookies and his three game-winners are tied with Chris Terry for most on the team (tied for second among AHL rookies). Cholowski ranks fifth on the Islanders with 17 assists in 35 games.
Hometown Hero: Laval, Quebec native Samuel Bolduc was named to the 2023 American Hockey League All-Star Classic last week following a career-high 24 points (six goals, 18 assists) for Bridgeport this season. He has also set a new career high in assists and matched his career best in goals through 38 games. The defenseman will head to his hometown for his first All-Star bid at Place Bell, home of the Laval Rocket, on Feb. 5-6th.
Birthday Boy: Arnaud Durandeau celebrated his 24th birthday with an assist against Utica on Saturday, extending his current four-game point streak (one goal, four assists). Over the last 11 games, Durandeau has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) while playing within a multitude of different line combinations. He ranks fourth on the team with 26 points in 38 games.
Reinforcements Have Arrived: Aatu Raty, Cory Schneider, and Robin Salo recently returned to Bridgeport from the New York Islanders, giving the AHL club some much-needed relief. Raty recorded three points (two goals, one assist) in four games last week, including an overtime game-winning goal against Lehigh Valley on Friday. Schneider went 2-0-0 since returning from a lower-body injury and Robin Salo had one assist last week.
From Russia with Love: Ruslan Iskhakov recorded three points on Monday afternoon (one goal, two assists) in Springfield, matching his career high. The 22-year-old Russian forward is now tied for second among all AHL rookies in assists (19) and shares third in points (28). Iskhakov’s three-point effort against Springfield was his third of the season.
Quick Hits: Chris Terry saw his season-best 10-game point streak come to an end on Saturday after recording 12 points (five goals, seven assists) over that span… Cory Schneider ranks fifth in AHL save percentage (.923 ) and is tied for 12th in GAA (2.50)… Otto Koivula has moved into fourth place in Bridgeport franchise history with 91 assists… Paul Thompson is two appearances shy of 700 pro games and Jeff Kubiak is two away from 300 pro games – both can be reached Saturday against the Penguins.
Goals: Andy Andreoff (19)
Assists: Chris Terry (26)
Points: Chris Terry (37)
Plus/Minus: Parker Wotherspoon* (+12)
Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (61)
Power Play Goals: Andy Andreoff (8)
Wins: Cory Schneider (12)
Across the Sound
The New York Islanders (23-18-3) complete a season-long five-game homestand tonight with a 7:30 p.m. matchup against the Boston Bruins. New York is 1-1-2 through its first four games of the homestand following a 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday. Bridgeport alums Sebastian Aho, Matt Martin and Hudson Fasching all scored that night at UBS Arena. Mat Barzal paces the Islanders in points (41), while former Bridgeport forwards Brock Nelson and Anders Lee share the team lead in goals (15).