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COA News 2024

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Recap: Islanders 4, Bruins 1

Apr 20, 2024

Julien Gauthier scored two goals 28 seconds apart and the Bridgeport Islanders (25-38-7-2), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, won their final game of the season, 4-1, over the Providence Bruins (41 -21-6-3) at Total Mortgage Arena on Saturday.

Alex Jefferies (pictured) also recorded a power-play goal, while Cole Bardreau (one goal, one assist) and Dennis Cholowski (two assists) notched two points each on Fan Appreciation Night.

Henrik Tikkanen (8-6-2) turned aside 31 saves including Georgii Merkulov’s penalty shot in the final three minutes.

BOX SCORE

The Bruins took the lead 2:38 into the game with Ian Mitchell’s sixth goal of the season. Brett Harrison blew past the Islanders defense to go in on a breakaway, where a Tikkanen save forced a rebound and net-front scramble. Harrison regained possession and slid a pass to the deep slot, where Mitchell beat Tikkanen, who was down and out of the net. John Farinacci received the secondary assist.

The Islanders stormed back with each of the next four goals. Bridgeport recorded the equalizer just 2:09 later with Jefferies’ power-play goal, his first on the man advantage as a pro. The rookie ripped a shot from the right circle that was blocked in front, yet Jefferies corralled the rebound and tried again, this time snipping the puck over Kyle Keyser’s shoulder to tie the game. Cholowski and Brian Pinho recorded the assists.

After a scoreless second period, Gauthier ignited the Islanders’ offense with two goals in a span of 28 seconds in the third. His first came on the power play, 9:02 into the period, when Tyce Thompson fed a pass from below the goal line, where Gauthier one-timed a shot past Keyser from the slot. Cholowski was credited with the secondary assist.

Gauthier’s second of the period came on a two-on-one fast break into the offensive zone. Bardreau sauced a perfect pass to a streaking Gauthier, who went forehand to backhand, deking past Keyser to extend the Islanders lead to 3-1. Daylan Kuefler received the secondary assist.

Gauthier was inches away from recording the Islanders’ first hat trick of the season late in the third period, covering his backhand and beating everything but the post.

The Islanders sealed the victory with an empty-net goal from Bardreau 18:49 into the third period. Bridgeport finished the game 2-for-3 on the power play and didn’t face a single penalty kill.