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58° Good Evening

Notes from Isles rookies' 8-5 loss

-- The wins and losses don't matter, of course, but in this case, I'd say the evaluation of goaltender Mikko Koskinen did matter: He allowed seven goals on 14 shots. At least three of them were softies. Koskinen is a bit more of a work in progress than either Anders Nilsson, who will likely play tonight, or Kevin Poulin, who already has a spot secured as Bridgeport's top goaltender. So this was a real opportunity for Koskinen, and he wasn't sharp enough.

-- Jack Capuano spoke after the game of the raggedy play, especially at 5-on-5. That was true for most of the Isles kids, including the Tyler McNeely-Ryan Strome-Nino Niederreiter line. Niederreiter scored twice, once on a nifty play by Strome to corral Calvin de Haan's errant point shot, go backhand-forehand at the side of the net and feed Niederreiter for a stuff in.

"There's some work that needs to be done, for sure," was Capuano's assessment of the Strome-Niederreiter pairing as far as playing away from the puck. But that's every kid.

Strome also had trouble creating space for shots -- his first three shots were blocked. Again, that comes with time and education.

-- Capuano did single out Kirill Kabanov for going into the dirty areas to create havoc and chances -- Kabanov had the third Isles goal and helped make space for John Persson's score. Kabanov, whose father, Sergei, was on on hand, showed a good willingness to engage and didn't shy away much. Good signs.

-- Rhett Rakhshani left the game in the first period with a concussion after getting crunched into the side boards by Bruins rookie winger Tyler Randell -- the same big kid who fought with Niederreiter in one of last year's rookie games. There was much chirping from the Isles bench after Rakhshani slowly went off, and David Ullstrom exacted a small bit of revenge by running Randell later in the game, drawing a boarding penalty.

"I'd have to see the replay to know (if it was dirty or not), but you hate to see a guy get hurt like that," Ullstrom said of Rakhshani, who was Bridgeport's leading scorer last season.

Rakhshani will be evaluated today, but it's hard to see him doing much with a concussion before next week. That will certainly set him back in his quest to grab one of the very few forward spots available on the Isles roster.

-- On defense, de Haan took the body well and got off a few good point shots on the power play, including a late goal. Mark Katic was steady in his quest to be the 7/8 D-man.

The second game is tonight at the Coliseum at 7 p.m., open to fans.


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