Bridgeport Islanders

Bridgeport Islanders Continue Road Trip in Springfield

December 9, 2023 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Bridgeport Islanders News Release

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Bridgeport Islanders (6-14-1-0) continue a season-long, six-game road trip with a 7:05 p.m. tilt against the Springfield Thunderbirds (11-8-2-0) at MassMutual Center tonight. It's the second of six visits to Springfield, Mass. this season. Last night, the Islanders dropped their third straight game and saw their winless streak on the road reach nine games in a 4-1 loss to the Utica Comets. Otto Koivula scored for the fourth straight road game and extended his personal point streak to a season-best four games overall, while Ruslan Iskhakov collected his team-leading 17th point with a primary assist.




Tonight's game marks the fourth of 12 meetings between the Islanders and Thunderbirds this season, and the second of six in Massachusetts. Bridgeport leads the series 2-1-0-0 with back-to-back wins at home on Nov. 5th and Nov. 11th, but Springfield took the last matchup on Nov. 22nd at MassMutual Center. Otto Koivula and Jeff Kubiak scored for Bridgeport in a 4-2 loss that evening.


The Thunderbirds have points in each of their last three games (2-0-1-0) and haven't played in a week, defeating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on the road, 4-3 in overtime, last Saturday. Springfield enters tonight's game fifth in the Atlantic Division standings, one point behind the Penguins and three points behind the Providence Bruins who have won six straight games. Adam Gaudette continues to lead the T-Birds in scoring, and shares second in the AHL in goals (13) and seventh in points (22).


Otto Koivula has a goal in four straight road games and has points in four consecutive games overall (two goals, three assists). It's the longest scoring streak for any Bridgeport player this season. With his second-period tally last night, Koivula passed Jeff Hamilton (2002-06) for third place on the team's all-time scoring list (157 points) and tied Trent Hunter (2001-03) for eighth place on the club's all-time goals list (60). He's done that in 239 career games dating back to his AHL debut on Oct. 6, 2018.


The Islanders had scored a power-play goal in four straight games and five of their last six prior to last night. Despite going 0-for-2 in Utica, the Isles are 4-for-16 in five games since Nov. 25th (25.0%) and 5-for-19 since Nov. 19th (26.3%). On the other end, Bridgeport's penalty kill is 21-for-23 in its last nine games and leads the AHL outright in success rate (88.4%) and fewest power-play goals allowed (8).


Robin Salo is expected to play his 100th AHL game tonight - all with Bridgeport. It would be his 132nd game in North America, as the 25-year-old defenseman has also played 32 NHL games with the New York Islanders over the past two seasons. Salo is one of nine players to appear in all 21 Bridgeport games this year. He has two goals and four assists for six points, including the overtime winner in the Islanders' home opener on Oct. 21st.


Jeff Kubiak played his 291st game with Bridgeport last night, passing Steven Regier (2004-08) for sixth place on the team's all-time list... Jakub Skarek played his 117th game in Bridgeport's crease, tying Rick DiPietro (2001-13) for fourth place on the club's all-time list for goalies... William Dufour returned to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 5th and recorded two shots... Ruslan Iskhakov has four points in his last four games (2g, 2a).


New York Islanders (11-7-7): Last: 7-3 W vs. Columbus, Thursday -- Next: Tonight vs. Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m. ET

Worcester Railers (8-9-2-1): Last: 4-2 W vs. Adirondack, last night -- Next: Tonight vs. Adirondack, 7:05 p.m.

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