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 Bridgeport Islanders

Islanders Edge Bruins, 3-2

February 16, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Bridgeport Islanders News Release

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Bridgeport Islanders (14-26-5-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, earned a 3-2 win against the Providence Bruins (29-15-3-2) on a last-minute goal at Amica Mutual Pavilion Friday night.

Cole Bardreau scored the game-winning goal with 35.2 seconds remaining, skating towards the right post and tapping home Jeff Kubiak's back-door pass from the left circle. It was Bardreau's 10th goal of the season and his second point of the night.

Matt Maggio and Otto Koivula each scored in the first period, while Ken Appleby (6-6-0) made 26 saves in his first appearance in 13 days. Julien Gauthier added two assists in his return to the lineup, and now has three points in his first two games with Bridgeport.

With the win, the Islanders snapped a three-game slide overall and a six-game winless streak on the road. It was their first win in Providence since Apr. 1, 2023.

The Islanders solved goaltender Brandon Bussi twice in the first period, building a 2-0 lead that they took well into the third. Maggio scored first with the highlight of the night just 2:38 into the contest. The 21-year-old forward gathered Bardreau's pass in the neutral zone, danced into open space, and raised everyone's eyebrows from there. He stickhandled around Reilly Walsh, turning the Bruins defenseman inside out, before finishing on a slick backhand shot below the hash marks. Maggio has three goals in his last six games.

Koivula delivered his ninth goal of the season and first since Jan. 6th on a double delayed penalty at the 16:57 mark. Ruslan Iskhakov was tripped in the neutral zone and the puck slid to Gauthier, where he drove between the defense and got a shot off while drawing a second penalty. Bussi made an initial save, but Koivula cleaned up the rebound while following Gauthier's path to the net. Iskhakov was credited with the secondary assist, his team-leading 22nd helper and 35th point this season.

Both Bussi and Appleby were perfect in the second period, yet the Bruins built some momentum and capitalized twice in the third to tie the game 2-2. Marc McLaughlin snapped a 28-game goalless streak when he made it 2-1 at the 7:49 mark. His fifth goal of the season ended Appleby's shutout after 19 consecutive saves, including a pad save on Luke Toporowski's heavy slap shot above the left circle that led to the rebound goal.

Justin Brazeau tied the contest with his 18th goal of the season following a Georgii Merkulov shot at 14:19.

It appeared the Islanders were headed to overtime for the second straight contest, but Bardreau had other ideas. Gauthier circled away from a Bruin in the left corner before finding Kubiak in the circle, who connected with Bardreau for a one-touch goal around Bussi's blocker.

Bridgeport went 0-for-4 on the power play but 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. The Islanders improved to 7-0-2-0 when leading after two periods.

William Dufour recorded a team-high six shots, while Robin Salo and Grant Hutton each had a +2 rating.

Next Time Out: The Islanders face the Hartford Wolf Pack at 7 p.m. tomorrow night. It's Star Wars Night , featuring a lightsaber giveaway to the first 2,500 fans inside Total Mortgage Arena. Meet your favorite characters from the Star Wars trilogy. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are on sale now.

All of the action this season can be seen live on or heard for free via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, beginning with the Connecticut Lottery Pregame Countdown 15 minutes prior to puck drop.

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