In a season where the Bridgeport Islanders have been coasting through the competition, last week was a genuine test of this team's mettle as they faced off against a pair of the top teams in the AHL. The young prospects of the NY Islanders would need to bring a bit more grit and grind to their game as the B-Isles hosted the Hershey Bears and had a home-and-home with the Providence Bruins.
With the first of their three games in less than 48 hours, the B-Isles played host to Hershey, falling 4-2 to the AHL's top team.
The team remained in Bridgeport as Providence traveled to Total Mortgage Arena for a Saturday night tilt with the Isles. Chris Terry opened the scoring for the B-Isles during the team's annual teddy bear toss, where hundreds of stuffed animals rained down on the ice after the opening goal. It was the highlight of the night for the team as they fell 3-2, starting the week 0-2.
A Sunday matinee in Providence saw the B-Isles get their first win of the week, defeating the Bruins 5-2. The team is up to 32 points (14-6-4-0) this season in 24 games.
Simon Hölmstrom remains on Long Island with the big club, but the B-Isles did get Aatu Räty back as he returned to the lineup after missing last week with an undisclosed illness.
Lets take a look at the week that was for Islanders top AHL prospects.
Samuel Bolduc, Bridgeport Islanders, AHL (2nd Round, 2019)
With Adam Pelech being injured against the St. Louis Blues last week, there was some thought that Samuel Bolduc could be called into action for his first taste of the NHL. For the time being, the Isles have decided to roll with Robin Salo as their sixth defenseman. As we await a timetable on Pelech, Bolduc will have to continue trying to force Lou Lamoriello's hand.
In a week where he really could have impressed the Isles brass, Bolduc was a bit underwhelming. Managing to get on the positive side of the scoresheet with an assist in the B-Isles home tilt with Providence, Bolduc also found the adverse side with a -1 rating in each game.
Typically known for his defense in previous years, Bolduc is now a -4 on the season, second worst for defensemen on the team, and fourth worst overall. Not something you'd typically like to see from a top-pair defenseman.
Bolduc will need to bring his defensive game back to par to match up with his offensive game, where he now has 20 points on the season (four goals, 16 assists). He currently sits third on the team in scoring.