Sports stats

 Bridgeport Islanders

Bridgeport Islanders Face Bruins in Final Game of the Season

April 20, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Bridgeport Islanders News Release

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (April 20, 2024) - The Bridgeport Islanders (24-38-7-2) finish their 23rd AHL season tonight, hosting the Providence Bruins (41-20-6-3) at 7 p.m. inside Total Mortgage Arena. It's Fan Appreciation Night, and the Islanders' 72nd and final game of the 2023-24 regular season. Last night, Bridgeport fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at home, 3-0, which allowed the Phantoms to clinch the sixth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. It officially eliminated the Springfield Thunderbirds from playoff contention. Bridgeport and Springfield are the two Atlantic Division teams that will miss the Calder Cup Playoffs.




Tonight's game is the 12th and final meeting between the Islanders and P-Bruins this season, and the last of six at Total Mortgage Arena. Bridgeport is 2-8-1-0 against Boston's affiliate and 1-4-0-0 in those games at home. However, the heated division rivals haven't met since the Islanders earned a 3-2 win in Providence on Feb. 16th, led by Cole Bardreau (one goal, one assist) and Julien Gauthier (two assists). Dennis Cholowski leads Bridgeport in the season series with seven points (three goals, four assists) in 11 meetings, while Anthony Richard has eight goals and 11 points for the Bruins.


The Bruins have clinched second place in the Atlantic Division and have a bye into the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, along with the first-place Hershey Bears. Providence has played well for most of the season, but enters tonight's contest just 5-2-2-1 over its last 10 games. Last night, leading scorer Georgii Merkulov had three points (two goals, one assist), including his 27th and 28th goals of the year, in a 4-2 win against Springfield at home. Jayson Megna had one goal and one assist, and Brandon Bussi (23-10-5) made 24 saves for his team-leading 23rd win of the season. Merkulov, a 2024 AHL All-Star, is sixth in the AHL's scoring race with 63 points (28 goals, 35 assists) in 65 games. Boston Bruins defenseman Derek Forbort is currently with Providence on conditioning and could be in the lineup this evening. Providence ends its regular season tomorrow afternoon against Hartford.


Laurel Hollow, N.Y. (Long Island) native Marshall Warren made his professional debut last night, just two days after he signed with the Islanders organization. He had three shots on goal, tied for most on the team. Warren signed an ATO with Bridgeport for the rest of this season and a two-year, entry-level contract, which begins in 2024-25. The 22-year-old defenseman, who grew up a big Islanders fan, had 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) in 41 games at the University of Michigan this season, helping the Wolverines advance to the 2024 Frozen Four. He also played four years at Boston College from 2019-23.


If Brian Pinho and Karson Kuhlman are in the Islanders' lineup tonight, they would become the only two players to appear in all 72 games this season. Pinho enters the season finale with three goals in his last three games and second on the team in scoring (33 points). Kuhlman has four points in his last three games (two goals, two assists) and a team-high four goals against Providence, his former team.


Bridgeport received six players from its ECHL affiliate, the Worcester Railers, this past week as the Railers' season came to an end on Sunday: Forwards Ashton Calder, Matt Kopperud (ATO), Reece Newkirk and Jake Pivonka, defenseman Trevor Cosgrove, and goaltender Henrik Tikkanen... Calder led Worcester with 58 points (23g, 35a) in 61 games this season and also played two games with the Islanders, making his AHL debut on Jan. 21st at Providence.


New York Islanders (39-27-16): Last: 5-4 W vs. Pittsburgh, Wednesday -- Next: Game 1 at Carolina, tonight at 5 p.m.

Worcester Railers (32-32-5-3): Last: 4-0 L at Trois Rivières, Sunday -- Finished 5th in North (Missed playoffs)

• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...

American Hockey League Stories from April 20, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Other Recent Bridgeport Islanders Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central