Sound Tigers Edged by Comets, 2-1
Kellen Jones scored his fourth goal of the season midway through the third period on Friday, but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (26-20-2-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered their second straight 2-1 setback to the Utica Comets (27-23-7-2) at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
Devon Toews added his team-leading 31st assist (tied for the league lead among rookies), while Comets’ goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped 23 shots for his sixth straight victory. Meanwhile, Jaroslav Halak (15-4-3) made 26 saves in his 500th professional appearance. Three of his four regulation losses have come against Utica.
In addition, the Sound Tigers have now played in a league-high 36 one-goal games this season (23-10-2-1).
Bridgeport had several opportunities to strike first despite being outshot 12-7 in the opening period. Carter Verhaeghe had the best chance with a breakaway midway through the frame, set up by Bracken Kearns, but Demko answered to keep it scoreless after 20 minutes.
Instead, Curtis Valk put the Comets on top 1-0 at 14:52 of the second period with his 15th goal of the season. Cody Kunyk found Jake Virtanen down the left wing to set up a two-on-one rush, allowing Virtanen to skate through the circle and center a pass for Valk who beat Halak’s glove from the right side.
Michael Carcone doubled Utica’s lead at 6:36 of the third when the rookie scored his second professional goal, and his first game-winner. Following Ashton Sautner’s high shot from the blue line that deflected off the glass, Pascal Pelletier slipped a centering feed to Carcone at the doorstep, where he forced it home.
Jones cut Bridgeport’s deficit to one at 9:40 of the third period when he gained the blue line, skated to the high slot and fired a pin-point snap shot over Demko’s glove. It was Demko’s only blemish, helping the Comets win their sixth straight game overall.
With just over a minute remaining, Halak was called to the Sound Tigers’ bench for the extra attacker, but Bridgeport could not capitalize despite several late chances.
The Sound Tigers went 0-for-1 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill, while Utica outshot Bridgeport 28-24. The game included one fight when Kyle Burroughs dropped the gloves with Cole Cassels at 14:36 of the second period.
Power Rangers Night: The Sound Tigers celebrate Power Rangers Night tomorrow with a 7 p.m. puck drop against the Albany Devils at Webster Bank Arena. Meet the Red Ranger and witness a live action performance during intermission at Webster Bank Arena. A special $25 Power Rangers Night package is still available and includes a ticket to the game, a hot dog / chips / soda combo voucher and a classic Power Rangers themed Sound Tigers t-shirt. Call (203) 345-2300 Option 7 to order or ORDER ONLINE NOW. Packages are limited and are not available at the box office. Doors open at 6 p.m.
For additional details or to reserve seats for any of the 2016-17 giveaway and theme nights, please call the Sound Tigers’ front office at (203) 345-2300.
Executive suites and premium seat packages are also available by calling the team’s front office at (203) 345-4841. If you are interested in group outings with your friends, family, co-workers, or clients an unforgettable experience at a discounted rate, call the group sales hotline at (203) 345-2300 Ext. 7.
About the Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Founded in 2001, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Hockey Club is the top minor league affiliate of the New York Islanders. Don't miss your chance to take part in the family fun entertainment happening every home game at Webster Bank Arena. For further information on ticket or sponsorship opportunities, call our office at (203) 345-2300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep up with the latest Sound Tigers news on Facebook and on Twitter. For more team information, log on to soundtigers.com.