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2022 Calder Cup Playoffs

Cory Schneider Leads Islanders Past Bruins in Game One

Cory Schneider Leads Islanders Past Bruins in Game One

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The last time these two teams met brought a 6-2 walloping for the Providence Bruins, but that wasn’t an indication of the playoff series ahead or game one. The Bridgeport Islanders proved themselves to be a team that could tarnish the underdog label in the Calder Cup Playoffs after filing into the final spot.

The opening 20 saw Cory Schneider return to what looked like his one-time NHL form. His 16 save performance was the only reason the Islanders kept it close throughout the opening frame. Although closely contested, it was not until the second period before the game saw its first goal. 

Kyle MacLean gave Bridgeport one of their only opportunities near the end of the period, but one of the league’s best, Troy Grosenick, stood tall.

It took 32 shots on Schneider and nearly 34 minutes of continued pressure before the goose eggs were cleared. A Jakub Lauko blast created the lead. Taking an old-time slapshot following a slick pass from Aaron Ness, Lauko scored his first AHL playoff goal. 

By the end of 40, it was a 1-0 contest, and there was no doubt in my mind at that point that the Bruins had it in a couple of gears ahead of the Islanders. The Bruins poured 21 shots on net in the middle frame alone, only matched with seven on the other side. The Baby Bruins maintained good offensive zone entries and better puck control once they got through Bridgeport’s defense’s tinfoil armor. 

The Islanders were down but not out. The club needed to return to the way it did in the opening period. The game would have been different if it had not been for stellar goaltending. For now, a bolstered defense and a quick goal to begin the period were all they had to do, and that they did.

Grant Hutton was the one to get things back to even Steven with an impossible angle shot. After receiving a pass and moving it down low, the Indiana-born sniped a perfect blast to tie the game.

The close of regulation painted a 1-1 contest, where the Islanders played a hard-fought third period. Bridgeports’ time in possession gain was a solid footing heading into overtime, but they were still on shaky ground. It was indeed anyone’s game.

The overtime was nothing short of an ordinary playoff overtime. Despite the shot clock reading 9-3 for the Islanders in the extra session, it didn’t look that way. Both teams were nervous about having a chance to move the chess piece.

The Bruins showed a solid trap game and had the wheels turning in the Islander zone. Back coming the other way, the Islanders put their feet in the water in Providence’s zone, and it was Arnaud Durandeau, the overtime hero.

The Bruins stayed and protested the call, looking for a review on a high stick, even so waiting on the bench far after the Islanders entered the dressing room, but by then, it was too late.

The final 2-1 result was one where, had it not been for exceptional goaltending, it would have been different. The Islanders were able to stay in the game thanks to Schneider’s near personal best performance in the playoffs.

Game two in the best of three gets underway on Wednesday at 7:00 ET.

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    Zack Power covers the Toronto Marlies for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHMarlies.

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