The Bridgeport Report: Week 15
The Bridgeport Islanders (15-18-3-4) won two of their three games this past weekend, enduring another tough "three-in-three" and measuring up well against two of the best teams in the Atlantic Division.
Leading scorer Chris Terry returned to the lineup after missing five games and collected points in each contest, while Otto Koivula also had at least one point in all three games. Terry (13 goals, 17 assists) and Koivula (nine goals, 20 assists) are first and second on the Islanders in scoring, and both forwards rank inside the top 23 among all AHL players.
Between the pipes, Jakub Skarek (12-8-3) also stood out this past weekend, winning both of his appearances and improving to 5-0-0 over his last five starts. He made 35 saves to earn his fourth straight win on Friday, as the Islanders recorded a 3-1 victory against the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Terry, Simon Holmstrom and Arnaud Durandeau all scored in consecutive periods, with each tally coming at even strength despite 58 combined penalty minutes in a rough division battle.
Twenty-four hours later, the Isles scored twice in the opening 78 seconds in a rematch against the Bruins, but suffered a 5-3 loss at Webster Bank Arena in the third of three consecutive games between the rivals. Koivula and Durandeau both scored for the second straight night, and Kyle MacLean notched his fourth tally of the season, but the Islanders fell to 3-3-0-2 against Providence this season. Cole Bardreau had two assists and Cory Schneider (3-8-2) made 32 saves on Saturday.
Bridgeport ended the weekend with extra hockey on Sunday, going to overtime against the Springfield Thunderbirds before securing a 4-3 win at home. Terry's OT heroics lifted the Islanders to a crucial victory in their 40th game of the season. He was one of four players who scored a goal and added an assist, a list that also included Koivula, Andy Andreoff and Thomas Hickey. Skarek made 25 saves to earn his fifth consecutive victory for the New York Islanders' American Hockey League affiliate.
Bridgeport has rotated wins and losses during each of its last seven games (4-2-0-1).
The Islanders' schedule slows down a bit this week with just one game between now and next Tuesday. The team will rest up before traveling to Hershey, Penn. for the third time this month, gearing up a for a 7 p.m. matchup against the Hershey Bears on Saturday. The game can be heard online through the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network and seen on AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
The Week Ahead
Saturday, Jan. 29 vs. Hershey Bears (7 p.m.) - The Islanders head to Hershey for the third time this month, facing the third-place Bears inside Giant Center on Saturday. Bridgeport is 1-0-1-0 in the season series, with both games needing more than 60 minutes to settle the score. Hershey earned a 3-2 overtime win on Jan. 2nd, while Bridgeport prevailed in a three-round shootout, 4-3, on Jan. 12th. Michael Dal Colle had the only shootout tally in the come-from-behind win.
Terry Time: Chris Terry had points in all three games last weekend and extended his scoring streak to a team-high four games (three goals, two assists). He returned to the lineup on Friday after a five-game absence and quickly made an impact with a first-period tally that sparked Bridgeport's come-from-behind win. Terry has scored a goal in three of his last four games and has a point in 15 of his last 18 contests. His 30 points on the season not only pace the Islanders, but share 16th place in the AHL.
From Finland with Love: Nokia, Finland native Otto Koivula also had points in all three games last weekend, including his sixth multi-point performance and team-leading 20th assist of the season on Sunday. Koivula is tied for 12th among all AHL players in assists and shares 20th place in scoring (29 points). He has points in eight of his last 10 games.
Skarek Stays Hot: Jakub Skarek has won each of his last five decisions and is 5-0-1 over his last six starts dating back to Jan. 1st. It's the longest winning streak for a Bridgeport netminder this season. The 22-year-old has moved inside the top 20 among AHL netminders in goals-against-average (2.80, 19th) and remains fourth in minutes played (1,438:10). He improved to third in the league in saves (674), adding 25 more on Sunday.
Quick Hits: Arnaud Durandeau had points in five consecutive home games (one goal, four assists) prior to Sunday... Thomas Hickey's two-point effort on Sunday was his first multi-point performance in the AHL since Feb. 28, 2020 (three assists)... Chris Terry leads the Islanders in multi-point games (seven) and shots (110, fourth in the AHL)... The Islanders have gone to overtime 12 times this season (5-7), tied for most in the AHL... Bridgeport has won more times when allowing the first goal (10-10-3-3) than it has when scoring first (5-8-0-1).
Goals: Chris Terry (13)
Assists: Otto Koivula (20)
Points: Chris Terry (30)
Plus/Minus: Jeff Kubiak, Parker Wotherspoon (+9)
Penalty Minutes: Parker Wotherspoon (69)
Shots: Chris Terry (110)
Power-Play Goals: Chris Terry, Collin Adams, Austin Czarnik (3)
Shorthanded Goals: Cole Bardreau (1)
Games Played: Kyle MacLean (40)
Wins: Jakub Skarek (12)
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