The Bridgeport Islanders split their two-game home stand this past weekend, ending their three-game winning streak.
Saturday, the Islanders overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat the Providence Bruins, 6-4. Otto Koivula extended his scoring streak to five games with his first goal of the season and an assist. Blade Jenkins, Simon Holmstrom and Richard Panik all netted their first goals of the season.
Holmstrom also had two helpers, extending his point streak to three games. The 2019 first-round pick’s goal was a thing of beauty. He got a little bit of a break as the Bruins defenseman lost his footing, giving Holmstrom a clear path to the net where his deked out goalie Kyle Keyser, putting the puck top shelf to cut the Providence lead to one. Koivula’s goal tied the game in the third.
This is a critical season for the Holmstrom. So far, he’s been up to the challenge. He has five points in his first eight games of the season. Compare that to the COVID-shortened 2020-21, where he had seven points in the 24 games. His confidence seems to be growing when he has possession of the puck. He‘s been winning puck battles and not getting forced off the puck. People tend to forget he’s just 20 years old.
There was scary moment in the game for Thomas Hickey, who took a Chris Wagner skate to the head. “The guy fell and as he was falling, the skate came up, caught him in the ear/jaw area, very dangerous. We’re very thankful that it’s just a cut’” Islanders head coach Brent Thompson said.
Cory Schneider made his season debut Sunday. The 35-year-old goaltender was waived a week ago by the New York Islanders when Semyon Varlamov was ready to return. The rust was clearly there for Schneider, who allowed five goals on 35 shots in a 5-1 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack. Austin Czarnik’s first goal of the season was the lone tally for the Islanders.
It was a return to Bridgeport for Tanner Fritz, who scored a goal and assisted on another. Fritz signed with the Wolf Pack in the offseason and played six seasons in the Islanders organization. Fritz scored 46 goals in 198 games for Bridgeport.
Bridgeport’s record now stands at 3-3-0-2. They look to get revenge on the Wolf Pack next weekend as they hard to Hartford on Friday and host them on Sunday. They host the Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday.
The Islanders announced that they reassigned goaltender Ken Appleby to the Worcester Railers of the ECHL. Appleby went 0-1-1, with a 1.91 GAA and a .951 save pct. in two games for Bridgeport.