Bridgeport Islanders face Bruins in final game of the season

Bridgeport Islanders

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

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (April 20, 2024) – The Bridgeport Islanders (24-38-7-2) conclude their 23rd AHL season tonight, hosting the Providence Bruins (41-20-6-3) at 7:00 PM at the Total Mortgage Arena. It’s Fan Appreciation Night and the 72nd and final game of the 2023-2024 regular season for the Islanders. Last night, Bridgeport fell 3-0 at home to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, allowing the Phantoms to clinch the sixth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. It officially eliminated the Springfield Thunderbirds from playoff contention. Bridgeport and Springfield are the two Atlantic Division teams that will miss the Calder Cup Playoffs.




Tonight’s game is the twelfth and final meeting between the Islanders and P-Bruins this season, and the last of six at Total Mortgage Arena. Bridgeport is 2-8-1-0 against Boston’s affiliate and 1-4-0-0 in those home games. However, the division rivals have not met since the Islanders earned a 3-2 win at Providence on Feb. 16, led by Cole Bardreau (one goal, one assist) and Julien Gauthier (two assists). Dennis Cholowski leads Bridgeport in the season series with seven points (three goals, four assists) in 11 meetings, while Anthony Richard has eight goals and 11 points for the Bruins.


The Bruins have finished second in the Atlantic Division and have a bye in the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, along with the first-place Hershey Bears. Providence has played well for most of the season, but is just 5-2-2-1 in its last ten games. Last night, leading scorer Georgii Merkulov had three points (two goals, one assist), including his 27th and 28th goals of the year, in a 4-2 win against Springfield at home. Jayson Megna had one goal and one assist, and Brandon Bussi (23-10-5) made 24 saves for his team-leading 23rd win of the season. Merkulov, a 2024 AHL All-Star, is sixth in the AHL scoring race with 63 points (28 goals, 35 assists) in 65 games. Boston Bruins defenseman Derek Forbort is currently at Providence for conditioning and could be in the lineup tonight. Providence closes the regular season tomorrow afternoon against Hartford.


Marshall Warren, a native of Laurel Hollow, NY (Long Island), made his professional debut last night, just two days after signing with the Islanders organization. He had three shots on target, which was tied for the team’s most. Warren signed an ATO with Bridgeport for the remainder of this season and a two-year entry-level contract starting in 2024-2025. The 22-year-old defenseman, who grew up a huge Islanders fan, had 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) in 41 games at the University of Michigan this season, helping the Wolverines advance to the 2024 Frozen Four He also played four years at Boston College from 2019-23.


If Brian Pinho and Karson Kuhlman are in the Islanders’ lineup tonight, they would become the only two players to play in all 72 games this season. Pinho enters the season finale with three goals in his last three games and second on the team in scoring (33 points). Kuhlman has four points in his last three games (two goals, two assists) and a team-high four goals against Providence, his former team.


Bridgeport hosted six players from its ECHL affiliate, the Worcester Railers, this past week as the Railers’ season came to an end on Sunday: forwards Ashton Calder, Matt Kopperud (ATO), Reece Newkirk and Jake Pivonka, defenseman Trevor Cosgrove and goaltender Henrik Tikkanen… Calder led Worcester with 58 points (23g, 35a) in 61 games this season and also played two games with the Islanders, making his AHL debut Jan. 21 at Providence.


New York Islanders (39-27-16): Last: 5-4 W vs. Pittsburgh, Wednesday — Up next: Game 1 at Carolina, tonight at 5 p.m

Worcester Railers (32-32-5-3): Last: 4-0 L at Trois Rivières, Sunday – finished 5th in North (missed play-offs)

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