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Bridgeport Islanders

WATCH: Räty’s First AHL Goal Sends Bridgeport to 2nd Round



Robin Salo

For the second time in as many games, the Bridgeport Islanders needed overtime against the Providence Bruins to settle the score. And for the second straight game, Bridgeport came away victorious, as they are now headed to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2003.

On Monday, the hero was 23-year-old Arnaud Durandeau. The hero on Wednesday night was 19-year-old Aatu Räty.

After receiving a pass from Kyle MacLean just inside the Providence Bruins blue line, the left-handed Räty saw a lane and shot against the grain to beat Bruins netminder Troy Grosenick for his first career goal on North American ice.


Here’s the slo-mo:

“Well, you know, I’m excited for him and obviously being rewarded, he’s one of the guys since he’s been here working extremely hard,” Bridgeport Islanders head coach Brent Thompson said. “He has a great shot, great release, comes across the blue line, and tonight got rewarded by putting the puck to the net in the right spot.”

Räty recorded four shots on goal, including the game-winner, and seemed to be looking to shoot every chance he got in the offensive zone.

“He had a number of chances earlier…shooting it high and wide, and he dialed it down. I thought he did a nice job.”

Räty played a part in both overtime winners this series, as he won a face-off cleanly on Monday night, which notched him the secondary helper on the Durandeau goal. And on Wednesday, he shot against the grain.

Now this goal does not happen if it’s not for the commitment in the defensive zone.

While the Bruins had control of the puck in Bridgeport’s zone along the left-side boards, forwards Aatu Räty and Austin Czarnik, along with Bridgeport captain Seth Hegelson collapsed on the puck carrier.

It may have taken a few tries, but Hegelson’s stick pushed the puck away from Providence forward Jack Studnika, and Czarnik scooped it up and made a smart pass to Kyle MacLean in the neutral zone to kick-start the rush.

Up next for the Bridgeport Islanders in their hunt for the Calder Cup is the no. 1 seed in the Atlantic Division, the Charlotte Checkers. Game 1 of the second-round matchup will be Tuesday, May 10.