The Bridgeport Report: Week 23Mar 29, 2023
The line of Arnaud Durandeau (four goals), Andy Andreoff (two goals, two assists), and Chris Terry (two assists) remained ultra-productive last week and paced the Bridgeport Islanders (30-25-7-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, to a two-game sweep of the Laval Rocket and Belleville Senators.
The Islanders have returned to the United States following their two wins in Canada and hold a one-point lead over the Hartford Wolf Pack for the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot with nine games remaining.
Bridgeport put up five goals in both games last week, including a 5-3 win against the Rocket on Wednesday, led by the first of Durandeau’s back-to-back two-goal efforts just outside of his hometown, Montreal. Kyle MacLean and Paul Thompson scored for the Islanders at even strength, while Durandeau and Andreoff had tallies on the power play. Bridgeport finished 2-for-5 on the man advantage and allowed one goal shorthanded, finishing 6-for-7 on the penalty kill. Cory Schneider (18-8-3) made a season-high 42 saves on 45 shots faced.
The Islanders bussed to Belleville, Ontario on Friday and swept the season series against the Senators with a 5-2 victory. Durandeau again scored twice with Erik Brown, Ruslan Iskhakov, and Andreoff following in the goals log. Dennis Cholowski led the team in points, recording three assists. Jakub Skarek (12-14-3) made 22 saves and Bridgeport finished 0-for-4 on the man advantage, and a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Bridgeport plays three games in five days this week including its final game of March tonight at XL Center in Hartford. The Islanders battle the Wolf Pack at 7 p.m. before concluding their four-game road trip on Saturday night in Providence. Bridgeport returns to Total Mortgage Arena on Sunday to host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 3 p.m. All games can be seen live via AHLTV or heard on the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network.
The Week Ahead
Wednesday, Mar. 29th at Hartford (7 p.m.): Bridgeport’s penultimate meeting with the Wolf Pack comes at a pivotal mark in the season, as both teams are battling for the final playoff spot in the division. They are separated by just one point in the standings entering tonight’s tilt. The Islanders and Wolf Pack have each won five times in regulation in the season series, with Hartford taking the last three.
Saturday, Apr. 1st at Providence (7:05 p.m.): The Islanders have a chance to move above .500 against the first-place Bruins on Saturday, looking to improve on a 5-5-0-0 record through 10 meetings this season. The Islanders have had a lot of success at Amica Mutual Pavilion, going 3-1-0-0 in four trips so far.
Sunday, Apr. 2nd vs. Lehigh Valley (3 p.m.): Philadelphia’s affiliate travels to Total Mortgage Arena for the seventh of eight matchups this season. The Islanders look to even out the series after posting a 2-3-0-1 record against Lehigh Valley to this point. The first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive an exclusive New York Islanders t-shirt when doors open at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here!
Helgeson Making History: Seth Helgeson is expected to play his 369th game with the organization on Wednesday, breaking Mark Wotton’s franchise record (2006-11) for all-time games played. Wotton was Bridgeport’s captain for five seasons and no one had come close to his 368 games played until now. Wednesday marks Helgeson’s 587th career AHL game between Bridgeport and the Albany Devils. He is one of two players to participate in all 63 games so far this season (along with Jeff Kubiak). Helgeson made his Bridgeport debut on Oct. 7, 2017 and has 93 points (15g, 78a) since then.
“A” Achievements: Alternate captain Cole Bardreau set a new career high with his 15th goal of the season in the Islanders’ last meeting with the Wolf Pack two weeks ago. His assist on Erik Brown’s goal on Friday in Belleville also gave him 29 points on the year, just one under his career-high 30, which the veteran forward has reached twice. Bardreau is six games shy of 400 in his AHL career.
Quick Hits: Arnaud Durandeau has scored twice in back-to-back games for the first time in his pro career and has six goals this month... Durandeau is tied for third on the team with a career-high 19 goals this season... Ruslan Iskhakov is on a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists) and ranks second among all AHL rookies with 49 points (17 goals, 32 assists)... He also shares second among rookies in assists... Andy Andreoff has scored at least one goal in five of his last six games and six of his last eight... Andreoff has 10 goals this month and a career-high 31 goals this season, currently second in the AHL… Erik Brown is two appearances from his 100th AHL game.
Goals: Andy Andreoff (31)
Assists: Chris Terry (43)
Points: Chris Terry (62)
Shots: Chris Terry (196)
Plus/Minus: Robin Salo (+8)
Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (109)
Power-Play Goals: Andy Andreoff (12)
Wins: Cory Schneider (18)
Across the Sound
The New York Islanders (38-28-9) hold the Eastern Conference’s top Wild Card spot with seven games left in the regular season. The Isles are 7-3-1 in the month of March, outpacing teams just below in the Wild Card race. New York ends the month on the road against the Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Former Bridgeport forward Brock Nelson leads the team with 68 points (32 goals, 36 assists) in 75 games played.