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 Bridgeport Islanders

Bridgeport Islanders Host Comets at 10:30 a.m. Today

April 2, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Bridgeport Islanders News Release

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (April 2, 2024) - The Bridgeport Islanders (23-34-6-1) tangle with the Utica Comets (29-26-4-5) at 10:30 a.m. this morning as part of their annual Spring 101 School Day event at Total Mortgage Arena. It's the second and final contest that begins prior to noon. Today's game completes a three-game homestand for the Islanders, who defeated the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday, 1-0, in overtime. Ken Appleby (9-9-0) made a season-high 36 saves for his first shutout of the season, while Dennis Cholowski scored the night's only goal 1:44 into overtime. It was Cholowski's first game winner since Feb. 20, 2021 with Grand Rapids. Bridgeport is 12 points out of a playoff spot with eight games left.

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Today's game is the fourth and final meeting between the Islanders and Comets this season, and the second of two at Total Mortgage Arena. Bridgeport is looking to 'win the series' following a 2-1 shootout win in Utica on Mar. 22nd, which improved its record to 2-1-0-0 against the Comets this season. Robin Salo scored the winning goal 1:13 into overtime in a 2-1 victory at home on Oct. 21st. Matt Maggio also recorded his first professional goal that night. Comets forward Graham Clarke leads all players in the series with four points (2g, 2a) in three meetings.


The Comets are coming off a 4-3 win against the Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday night, in which Shane Bowers scored two goals including the game winner in the final four minutes of regulation at home. Will MacKinnon and Erik Middendorf also scored their first goals since February, and Akira Schmid (7-7-4) made 26 saves. Utica is last in the North Division, but sits just three points behind Laval for a playoff spot with two games in hand. Captain Ryan Schmelzer leads the Comets in scoring with a career-high 46 points, while Graham Clarke has a team-best 23 goals. Utica opens a five-game road trip today.


Today's 10:30 a.m. puck drop is the second of two morning games for the Islanders this season. They also faced the Syracuse Crunch on Nov. 14th, which resulted in a 5-4 loss at Total Mortgage Arena. Jeff Kubiak, Sam Asselin, Brian Pinho and Cole Bardreau had the goals. Thousands of students from local schools and area youth groups will be in attendance today. Bridgeport went 2-0-0-0 in games that began prior to noon last season - both at home. Both contests went beyond regulation, with the Islanders beating Charlotte in a shootout (4-3, Nov. 1, 2022) and Springfield in overtime (4-3, Apr. 4, 2023).


Dennis Cholowski lifted the Islanders to their 11th win beyond regulation this season when he launched a one-timer past goaltender Spencer Knight 1:44 into overtime on Saturday. It was his sixth goal of the season and first since Jan. 27th. Cholowski leads all Bridgeport defensemen in goals and points (27), and is tied for third on the team in scoring. He has one assist in five career games against the Comets.


Ruslan Iskhakov recorded his team-leading 28th assist and 45th point on Saturday... Ken Appleby's clean sheet on Saturday was his seventh career AHL shutout and Bridgeport's first as a club this year... Appleby also logged his second assist of the season on Saturday... The Islanders have scored two goals for fewer in seven straight contests... Bridgeport has played 33 games that have resulted in a one-goal differential, most in the AHL.


New York Islanders (32-27-15): Last: 4-3 OTW at PHI, last night -- Next: Tonight vs. CHI, 7:30 p.m. ET

Worcester Railers (29-29-5-3): Last: 9-3 L vs. NFL, Saturday -- Next: Friday at ME, 7:15 p.m. ET

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