The Bridgeport Report: Week 14Jan 24, 2023
By Dalton Rice | Bridgeport Islanders
Behind William Dufour’s overtime winner and a 40-save shutout from Cory Schneider on Friday night, the Bridgeport Islanders (17-16-6-1) earned a much-needed victory at Total Mortgage Arena as part of a two-game split on home ice last weekend.
Through 40 games, the Islanders share sixth place in the Atlantic Division with 41 points alongside the Hartford Wolf Pack and Springfield Thunderbirds.
Bridgeport went toe-to-toe with the Rochester Americans, the Buffalo Sabres’ affiliate, at home on Friday, taking a scoreless deadlock past regulation. Dufour stole the puck in his own end and took it coast-to-coast before snapping home a heavy wrist shot past Amerks’ goaltender Malcolm Subban to end the game 1:35 into OT. The 1-0 win was Bridgeport’s first shutout of the season, Schneider’s (13-4-2) 14th AHL shutout, and the 40th of his professional career. The Islanders finished their two-game series against the Americans 1-0-1-0, with both games going to overtime.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins came to town on Saturday night for the Islanders’ final home game of the month. Despite two goals from AHL All-Star Samuel Bolduc, who made his NHL debut in Toronto on Monday, Bridgeport suffered a 3-2 loss to the Penguins. Schneider made 23 saves before Jakub Skarek took over Bridgeport’s crease to begin the third period, stopping all seven shots he faced in relief. Kyle MacLean, Cole Bardreau, Jeff Kubiak, and Jimmy Lambert found their way on the scoresheet with assists.
Bridgeport plays three road games this week to complete its January schedule. The Islanders face the Wolf Pack on Wednesday, the Penguins on Saturday, and the Hershey Bears on Sunday. All games can be seen live via AHLTV and heard on the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network.
The Week Ahead
Wednesday, Jan. 25th at Hartford Wolf Pack (7 p.m.): The Islanders make the short trip north to face the New York Rangers’ affiliate at XL Center tomorrow night. Bridgeport holds a 3-2-0-0 record against its in-state rival through five matchups this season. Hartford is 16-14-3-6 in 39 games (41 points).
Saturday, Jan. 28th at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (6:05 p.m.): Round four between Bridgeport and Pittsburgh’s affiliate takes place on Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The Islanders hold a 2-1-0-0 series advantage including a 5-1 victory in Pennsylvania on Dec. 3rd. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (19-13-2-3) shares fourth in the Atlantic Division with 43 points in 37 games.
Sunday, Jan. 29th at Hershey Bears (5 p.m.): The Islanders play their third and final game in Hershey during the regular season, looking to bounce back following consecutive overtime losses Nov. 11-12. The Washington Capitals’ affiliate (26-8-4-1) currently leads the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with 57 points in 39 games. The Bears visit Total Mortgage Arena for the final two meetings on Feb. 3rd and Apr. 14th.
Dufour Hits 14: William Dufour made his NHL debut at UBS Arena last Wednesday, was returned to Bridgeport on Thursday, and scored his 14th goal in the AHL on Friday - his second career overtime-winning tally. Dufour is fourth among all AHL rookies in goals and shares ninth in points (26). He has four points in his last five games (2g, 2a) and leads all Bridgeport players with four game-winners this season.
Bridgeport’s Brick Wall: Cory Schneider recorded his 40th professional shutout in Bridgeport’s 1-0 overtime win against Rochester on Friday. It was his 14th in the AHL in addition to 26 in the NHL. The 36-year-old is tied for third among all AHL goalies in save percentage (.926), fifth in wins (13) and eighth in goals-against-average (2.44).
Milestone Men: Paul Thompson and Jeff Kubiak each hit professional milestones on Saturday night against the Penguins. Thompson, in his 12th pro season, played his 700th game between the NHL, AHL and ECHL. Kubiak, a sixth-year pro, made his 300th appearance between the AHL and ECHL. Kubiak collected an assist in the game and now has points in three of his last five.
Bolduc Becomes the Fifth: AHL All-Star Samuel Bolduc became Bridgeport’s fifth player this season to make his NHL debut, joining Dufour, Simon Holmstrom, Aatu Raty and Parker Wotherspoon. He played 14:28 against Toronto, recording one shot on goal and one hit.
Quick Hits: Paul LaDue could play in his 300th professional game on Sunday against Hershey... Ryan MacKinnon is also eight games shy of his 300th between the AHL and ECHL... The Islanders’ power play remains sixth in the AHL (31-for-137, 22.6%) and their penalty kill remains 11th (82.1%)... Henrik Tikkanen was recalled from Worcester on Tuesday and could make his AHL debut later this week.
Goals: Andy Andreoff (19)
Assists: Chris Terry (26)
Points: Chris Terry (37)
Shots: Chris Terry (113)
Plus/Minus: Parker Wotherspoon* (+12)
Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (61)
Power-Play Goals: Andy Andreoff (8)
Wins: Cory Schneider (13)
Across the Sound: Former Bridgeport forward Anders Lee scored twice for the third time this season, but the New York Islanders (23-21-5) suffered a 5-2 setback to the Toronto Maple Leafs last night and dropped out of a wildcard spot with their fifth straight loss. Mat (11 goals, 30 assists) and former Bridgeport forward Brock Nelson (17 goals, 24 assists) share the team lead with 41 points.