While the New York Islanders were dealing with the injury bug, general manager Lou Lamoriello went to the Bridgeport Islanders well often, calling up Simon Holmstrom, Hudson Fasching, Aatu Räty, and Parker Wotherspoon. In their absence, Bridgeport struggled mightily to win games.
Without a handful of players, Bridgeport, who started the season as hot as possible, cooled off incredibly quickly and lost 10 straight games from Dec. 17 to Jan. 7.
But Bridgeport head coach Brent Thompson and his team welcomed Aatu Räty and Robin Salo back this past Wednesday for a game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Despite the help, a 3-1 loss pushed their losing streak to 11 games (0-8-3).
Someone needed to step up when Bridgeport played Lehigh Valley in a rematch on Friday night to snap the streak, and Aatu Räty answered the call.
With 2:26 left in overtime, all knotted up at three, Räty scored on a breakaway for the 4-3 win, snapping the streak in the process:
This was not the first time Räty scored a critical overtime winner, as he sent Bridgeport to the second round of the postseason last year with a nifty wrist shot.
Aatu Räty showed well in his seven games at the NHL level. He scored two goals, played smart defensively, and showcased that he will be a talent at the NHL level. In 25 games with Bridgeport, Räty has scored six goals with seven assists as he continues his development in the AHL.