Top Goals from the 2021-22 SeasonJun 6, 2022
Bridgeport Islanders staff
1. AATU RATY SENDS BRIDGEPORT TO THE SECOND ROUND
Bridgeport Islanders forward Aatu Raty already had the attention of hockey fans around the world prior to the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs, and he left a lasting impression on an incredible season by scoring the team’s biggest goal of the year on May 4th at Total Mortgage Arena.
It was just the fourth AHL game for the New York Islanders prospect, but the 19-year-old scored a dramatic overtime winner that we will all remember for a very long time, sending Bridgeport to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Not to mention, it was his first goal with the team and in North America. The Islanders’ top pick in the 2021 NHL Draft beat Providence Bruins goaltender Troy Grosenick with a remarkable wrist shot at 12:53 of the first overtime in Game 2 of the first-round series.
“I'm excited for (Raty) obviously being rewarded,” head coach Brent Thompson said following the game. “Since he's been here, he’s working extremely hard. He has a great shot, a great release. He had a number of chances earlier (in the game). I thought he did a nice job."
2. ROBIN SALO’S STELLAR FIRST AHL GOAL
“First goals that were also overtime winners” became a bit of a trend this past season, with defenseman Robin Salo cashing in against the Springfield Thunderbirds in an outstanding 2021-22 home opener on Oct. 23rd.
Salo’s first goal in North America came 4:10 into overtime and capped a remarkable come-from-behind victory as Bridgeport earned a 4-3 win against their division rival in game #5 of the season. It’s a play that Salo vividly remembers, his first of four goals in the AHL.
“I felt like I had good speed coming in so I just tried to challenge the defense and cut back, Salo said. “I was just trying to get it to the net. Durandeau had a good screen in front too so just happy that it went in.”
3. ARNAUD DURANDEAU’S WRAPAROUND IN O.T.
Forward Arnaud Durandeau made a permanent addition to his highlight reel by scoring the game-winning goal at 9:56 of overtime in Game 1 of Bridgeport’s first-round playoff series against the Providence Bruins on May 2nd.
Just shy of the halfway mark of the first overtime, Raty won a faceoff cleanly back to Salo above the left circle, where he fired a lengthy shot off the back glass that fell behind the goal line. Durandeau skated onto the rebound and wrapped it home for the 2-1 final.
Durandeau scored a career-high 15 goals in 64 games during the regular season, third-most on the team. But none of his goals were bigger than that.
4. AUSTIN CZARNIK’S KEY GOAL IN THE CLINCHER
Forward Austin Czarnik broke a 2-2 tie with just 5:03 remaining in Bridgeport’s penultimate game of the regular season on April 22nd, sparking a 4-2 victory against the Springfield Thunderbirds and a berth in the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Czarnik set up on the power play and ripped home a one-time blast from the slot, orchestrated by Andy Andreoff to eventually win the game and help Bridgeport clinch its first postseason appearance since 2018-19.
Czarnik scored 14 goals and 37 points during the regular season, which came in just 38 AHL games.
5. CHRIS TERRY SCORES HIS 30TH OF THE SEASON
Chris Terry led the Islanders with 30 goals during the regular season, the most for any Bridgeport player since Trevor Smith had 30 in 2008-09. His 30th goal also came in the playoff-clinching contest on April 22nd against Springfield.
Terry entered the zone on a rush and saw his initial chance turned back, but potted his own rebound at the 17:00 mark. Terry has 30 or more goals in a single season on four occasions during his terrific career.
He led the Islanders in almost every offensive category during the regular season. His 30 goals were tied for seventh among all AHL players and his 61 points shared 18th place. The five-time AHL All-Star also led Bridgeport in power-play goals (10), power-play points (23), game-winning goals (5), shots-on-goal (208) and multi-point games (17). He finished the regular season with three consecutive multi-point efforts (2g, 4a).