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 Bridgeport Islanders

Islanders Edge Phantoms, 2-1

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

ALLENTOWN, Penn. - Matt Maggio and Ruslan Iskhakov connected on a thing of beauty early in the third period to push the Bridgeport Islanders (17-29-6-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, past the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (22-22-5-2) in a 2-1 win at PPL Center on Saturday.

Maggio darted to the net, received Iskhakov's pass, and flipped a backhand shot over Parker Gahagen (5-7-3) after Iskhakov successfully walked around defenseman Emil Andrae above the left circle. Maggio scored his 11th goal of the season at 2:30 of the third period, which also stood as his third game-winning tally. It was Iskhakov's team-leading 23rd assist and 38th point.

William Dufour also recorded his 11th goal of the season on a career-high 10 shots-on-target. Jakub Skarek (5-18-5) made 28 saves, as the Islanders emerged victorious to begin a three-game road trip.

The Islanders set the tone early with 17 shots-on-goal in the first period alone, but Gahagen stood tall to keep the game scoreless. As part of that pressure, Gahagen and the Phantoms killed off 90 seconds of 5-on-3 Islanders' power play time.

Dufour broke the ice 4:55 into the second period with his first goal since Jan. 21st and his team-leading eighth on the road. Otto Koivula created a turnover on the left side of the Phantoms' zone and directed a pass to the right circle, where Dufour pulled the trigger and beat Gahagen's blocker.

Bridgeport had a key opportunity to extend its lead shortly after, but couldn't convert on a four-minute power play caused by J.R. Avon's high stick that drew blood against Seth Helgeson. Instead, Lehigh Valley tied the game on a power play of its own at the 14:26 mark courtesy of Cooper Marody, who closed in on Skarek and scored his 14th goal of the season.

The 1-1 deadlock was decided in the third period when Maggio finished off a highlight-reel sequence from Iskhakov at 2:30.

The Islanders went 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. Tyce Thompson and Adam Ginning dropped the gloves with 30 seconds remaining in the second period, a spirited tilt that captured the intensity of the contest.

The Islanders improved to 1-0-0-1 against the Phantoms this season. Bridgeport outshot Lehigh Valley 41-29.

Next Time Out: The Islanders continue a three-game road trip on Sunday afternoon with a 3:05 p.m. puck drop against the Springfield Thunderbirds at MassMutual Center. The contest can be seen live on or heard for free via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network, beginning with the Connecticut Lottery Pregame Countdown at 2:45 p.m.

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