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Islanders beat Bruins 4-1

Bridgeport Islanders

April 20, 2024 – American Hockey League (AHL)
Bridgeport Islanders News Report

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – 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 also recorded a power-play goal, while Cole Bardreau (one goal, one assist) and Dennis Cholowski (two assists) each scored two points on Fan Appreciation Night.

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

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 and went in for a breakaway, where a Tikkanen save forced a rebound and a net-front scramble. Harrison regained possession and slid a pass into the deep slot, where Mitchell beat Tikkanen, who was out of the net. John Farinacci received the secondary assist.

The Islanders stormed back with each of the next four goals. Bridgeport notched 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, but Jefferies was able to drive in the rebound and try it again, this time hitting the puck over Kyle Keyser’s shoulder to tie the game. Cholowski and Brian Pinho recorded the assists.

After a scoreless second period, Gauthier sparked the Islanders’ attack 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 lofted 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 quick two-on-one break in the offensive zone. Bardreau scored a perfect pass to a streaking Gauthier, who went from forehand to backhand and ran 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, using his backhand to beat all but the post.

The Islanders sealed the victory with an empty-net goal by 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.

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