Wednesday Night Rivalry: Islanders vs. BearsJan 12, 2022
The Bridgeport Islanders (12-16-3-4) look to extend their unbeaten in regulation streak to six games as they open a three-game road trip tonight against the Hershey Bears (18-10-2-1) at Giant Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Islanders have earned at least one point in every game of 2022 so far (2-0-2-1), most recently falling to the Charlotte Checkers in a shootout, 3-2, on Sunday. Bridgeport rallied from a two-goal deficit in the second period to force overtime and eventually a marathon, eight-round shootout. Parker Wotherspoon and Michael Dal Colle both scored in regulation, while Cory Schneider (3-6-2) made 31 saves.
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SERIES AT A GLANCE
Tonight’s game is the second of six meetings between the Islanders and Bears this season, and the second of three in Pennsylvania. Hershey prevailed in overtime just 10 days ago when Shane Gersich recorded his second goal of the game at 2:13 of OT for a 3-2 final. Chris Terry and Erik Brown had the goals for Bridgeport, while Ken Appleby (0-2-2) made 24 saves.
VIEW FROM HERSHEY
The Bears have won back-to-back games and six of their last seven entering tonight’s action, moving into a tie for the top spot in the Atlantic Division. They have also won five straight home games. On Sunday, Hershey completed a two-game sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with a 3-2 victory at home. Dylan McIlrath and Mike Vecchione both scored in the second period and Garrett Pilon notched the game-winner at 8:40 of the third with his team-leading 11th goal of the season. Pheonix Copley (9-6-1) made 26 saves.
MICHAEL DAL ‘GOAL’
No one is hotter than Michael Dal Colle for the Bridgeport Islanders, who scored his seventh goal of the season on Sunday and extended his point streak to six games (four goals, two assists). It’s tied for the longest point streak of his pro career and is the second time he’s reached that mark. Dal Colle has five goals in his last eight games, and his seven goals and 11 points have come in just 13 contests this season, putting him third on the team in points-per-game (0.85). He also ranks second in shooting percentage (26.9%). The 25-year-old is four games shy of his 300th professional appearance.
KOIVULA’S HELPING HAND
Just like Dal Colle, Otto Koivula has points in every game of 2022 so far. He extended his scoring streak to five games on Sunday with an assist on the game-tying tally in the third period, his team-best 18th helper of the season. Koivula is tied for seventh among all AHL players in assists and is tied for 16th in points (25). He is second on the Islanders in scoring behind Chris Terry’s 26 points.
SCHNEIDER STAYS SHARP
Cory Schneider is 3-0-2 in his last five starts dating back to Nov. 27th, recording a 1.93 GAA and .932 save percentage over that span. The 35-year-old netminder is 3-6-2 overall this season with a 2.79 GAA and .912 saves rate. He’s allowed two goals or less in five of his last seven starts.
Tonight’s game marks the halfway point of Bridgeport’s 2021-22 regular season... Arnaud Durandeau is on a three-game point/assist streak… He has points in five of his last six contests… Cole Bardreau has three goals in his last three games and six goals in his last nine… He is second among all AHL players in shooting percentage (7-for-22, 31.8%)... Jakub Skarek has started seven of Bridgeport’s last 10 games… He is fourth in the AHL in minutes played (1,226:11) and saves (576).
New York Islanders (10-12-6); Last: 3-2 OTW vs. Edmonton, Jan. 1st -- Next: Tomorrow vs. New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.
Worcester Railers (9-14-1-1); Last: 6-2 L at Reading, Saturday -- Next: Tonight vs. Maine, 7:05 p.m.