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 Bridgeport Islanders

The Bridgeport Report: Week 26

April 10, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Bridgeport Islanders News Release

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Alex Jefferies scored three times in four games and the Bridgeport Islanders collected three standings points during one of their busiest weeks of the season.

The Islanders (24-36-6-2) went 1-2-1-0 over a six-day span this past week.

The highlight of the week came on Wednesday when Aidan Fulp's first professional goal proved to be the difference in a 4-1 win against the Hartford Wolf Pack at XL Center. Ken Appleby (10-10-2) made 28 saves for his third straight victory and Jefferies, who recorded his first pro goal one day prior, lit the lamp for a second straight contest. William Dufour and Carsen Twarynski also scored, while Twarynski (one goal, one assist) and Brian Pinho (two assists) had multi-point performances.

Jefferies notched the lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the Utica Comets at Total Mortgage Arena on Tuesday, and the Islanders scored three times in a 6-3 setback to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at home on Saturday.

Bridgeport capped the week with a furious comeback that fell short on Sunday, but earned a point in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Rochester Americans. Down 4-0 early in the second period, the Islanders stormed back to tie the game thanks to tallies from Jefferies, Sam Asselin, Matt Maggio, and Dennis Cholowski. The two teams went to overtime for the sixth straight meeting (and eighth time in their last nine) before the Amerks edged Bridgeport in a three-round shootout. Appleby made 25 saves.

With just four games left in the season, the Islanders hit the road for the final time this weekend, visiting Wilkes-Barre and Allentown, Penn. The Islanders face the red-hot Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (36-22-8-1) at 7 p.m. Friday and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (29-29-6-3) at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.

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


The Week Ahead:

Friday, Apr. 12th at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (7 p.m.): The Islanders visit Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza to face Pittsburgh's affiliate on Friday. It's the fourth and final meeting between the Atlantic Division rivals. The red-hot Penguins, who enter the weekend on a five-game win streak, have also won three straight contests against the Islanders in regulation, including a 6-3 final at Total Mortgage Arena last Saturday. William Dufour has a team-leading two goals against the Penguins.

Saturday, Apr. 13th at Lehigh Valley (7:05 p.m.): The Islanders are 2-1-0-1 against the Phantoms this season and have won both of their trips to PPL Center. Dufour and Matt Maggio each scored in a 2-1 win on Mar. 2nd, while Julien Gauthier and Ruslan Iskhakov had the goals in a 2-1 victory on Mar. 23rd. Both wins came in regulation. Saturday's contest marks the Islanders' 36th and final road game of the season. The club is 11-21-2-0 away from Total Mortgage Arena.


Ice Chips:

Three's Company: Ruslan Iskhakov has assists in three straight games, piecing together his third streak of at least three games this season. Bridgeport's leading scorer is up to 17 goals, 31 assists and 48 points in 67 appearances. He's three points and assists shy of his AHL career high and has matched his career-best for goals, set last season. He's set up fellow prospects Matt Maggio (twice) and William Dufour over the last three games.

Young Guns A Blazin': Five of the last seven goals have come from New York Islanders' draft picks. In addition, three of Bridgeport's four goals against Hartford last Wednesday came from highly-touted prospects. 2020 fourth-round draft pick Alex Jefferies, who notched his first pro goal on Tuesday, scored again to make it 1-0 in the first period. Jefferies now has three goals in eight pro games. Aidan Fulp followed that up with his first pro goal just 1:57 into the second, which stood as the game winner. 2020 fifth-round pick William Dufour added his 14th goal of the season on a brilliant feed from Ruslan Iskhakov later in the frame.

New Faces: Bridgeport has signed two more players to amateur tryout agreements (ATOs) within the last week. Forward Jack Randl, out of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, joined the team on Thursday and signed an AHL contract for the 2024-25 season. He played four seasons at Nebraska-Omaha, where he recorded 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists) in 39 games this season. He led the Mavericks with a career-high 18 goals and 34 points in 2022-23, while serving as an alternate captain. The Islanders also signed goaltender Jason Grande to an ATO this morning. Grande played three seasons at Bentley University (2019-22) and two seasons at Holy Cross (2022-24).

Quick Hits: Jeff Kubiak played his 400th professional game on Sunday... Kubiak, Brian Pinho, and Karson Kuhlman have played in all 68 games this season... Ken Appleby is 3-0-1 over his last four starts... The Islanders will finish the season 5-8-0-1 against North Division opponents and 7-2-2-1 when playing on a Sunday... Matt Kopperud was released from his ATO this morning and signed an ATO with the Worcester Railers.


Across the Sound: The New York Islanders (36-27-15) earned a 4-2 win against the New York Rangers at UBS Arena last night, their fifth straight victory - longest active streak in the NHL. The Islanders have vaulted into third place in the Metropolitan Division and occupy a playoff spot with four games left in the regular season. The Islanders are two points ahead of the Capitals and three points ahead of the Penguins and Red Wings. New York returns to action on Thursday with a 7:30 p.m. matchup against the Montreal Canadiens at home before facing the Rangers at MSG on Saturday afternoon.

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