MARLIES 6, SOUND TIGERS 4
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers season ended Thursday night after the Toronto Marlies scored five unanswered goals, winning 6-4 in Game 3 at Ricoh Coliseum.
The Sound Tigers came out of the gate flying, firing shot after shot towards Antoine Bibeau. The team was rewarded with a power play goal when Marc-Andre Cliche scored his first of the postseason. Parker Wotherspoon’s point shot was stopped by Bibeau, but Bracken Kearns and Michael Dal Colle got chances on the rebound before Cliche buried it for the 1-0 lead. The assist for Dal Colle marked his first professional point.
From that point on, the Marlies controlled the opening frame, firing 19 shots at Christopher Gibson to the Sound Tigers’ 7. The Marlies got a power play of their own and converted with a blast from the point. The shot came off the stick of Connor Carrick, who beat Gibson high over the glove to tie the score at 1-1.
The second period featured six goals, with three going to each team. The first three came for Bridgeport, as it gained its second lead of the night. Mike Halmo took the shot from the high slot, beating Bibeau with assists from Kyle Burroughs and Tanner Fritz just 42 seconds into the period.
Midway through the second, the Sound Tigers found themselves on a 4-on-3 power play. They made sure to connect, with Burroughs taking the one-timer and beating Bibeau over the blocker to make it 3-1. Kane Lafranchise and Fritz picked up helpers on Burroughs’ first of the postseason.
Just 1:18 later, the Sound Tigers scored another power play goal. This time, Kearns sent a shot towards the Marlies net that was deflected in front by Cliche for his second of the game. The goal led to a goaltending change, with Bibeau making way for Garret Sparks.
The change ignited the Marlies, who came back with a power play goal of their own. Carrick set up T.J. Brennan for the one-timer and the Marlies were within two with five minutes left in the period.
Then Carrick took over the game, scoring a pair at even strength to tie the contest with a minute left in the second. His second of the game came with 2:53 left to go when he beat Gibson through a screen, then his hat trick tally came off a perfect feed from William Nylander to make it 4-4.
Viktor Loov scored the game-winner 2:51 into the third, beating Gibson through a screen to give the Marlies a 5-4 lead. Zach Hyman scored with under eight minutes to go, helping Toronto secure the sweep.
Bridgeport went 3-for-5 on the power play while the Marlies went 2-for-3. Gibson finished with 37 stops while Bibeau and Sparks combined to stop 20.
Kearns – Cliche – Collberg
Jones – Fritz – Greco
Florek – Holmstrom – Halmo
Dal Colle – Gomes – Markison
Wotherspoon – Mayfield
Lafranchise – Burroughs
Czuczman – Cullity