Eansor, Gibson Lead Sound Tigers Over Bears
Scott Eansor scored twice and Christopher Gibson made 32 saves on Saturday to lead the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (22-16-4-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, to a 3-1 win against the Hershey Bears (17-21-3-4) in front of a packed house at Webster Bank Arena. More than 6,200 fans witnessed the contest for Marvel Night.
It was the third time this season that Eansor has notched two goals in a game, and it helped the Sound Tigers improve to 3-0-0-0 against Hershey this year.
The victory also extended Bridgeport's win streak at home to five games and the club is now unbeaten in regulation in 10 straight games at Webster Bank Arena (8-0-1-1) - three shy of the franchise record. Gibson improved to 16-8-2 between the pipes and is now tied for sixth in the AHL in victories.
Both teams had their chances in the opening 20 minutes, but headed into the first intermission scoreless as Gibson and Hershey's Phoenix Copley (8-9-5) held down each crease. Travis St. Denis came the closest when he rang a one-timer off the post following a cross-ice pass from Josh Ho-Sang near the midway mark.
Eansor and the Sound Tigers finally broke through eight minutes into the middle frame when the Bears got caught in a line change, and Bridgeport took advantage. Gibson connected a long outlet pass to Eansor in the neutral zone, which created a 3-on-0 that continued into Hershey's end. Eansor fed the puck to Casey Bailey, who returned it to Eansor at the doorstep for a tap-in tally. Gibson was credited with the secondary assist, marking his third career helper and first since 2015-16.
The Sound Tigers doubled their lead at 8:04 of the third period when Eansor recorded his second goal of the night, and team-leading 17th of the season on a rebound. With Colby Williams in the box for cross-checking, St. Denis skated to the right circle and fired a heavy wrist shot that Copley kicked away, but Eansor nudged home the second chance from the low slot for his sixth power-play goal of the season, which also leads Bridgeport. In addition, Eansor moved into a tie for sixth place among AHL rookies in goals.
Hershey kept things interesting and got one back at the 13:04 mark when Nathan Walker redirected home his second goal in 12 AHL games this season. With Mitch Vande Sompel in the box for cross-checking, Travis Boyd waltzed his way to the right circle and filtered a pin-point pass to Walker at the crease, where he handed Gibson his only blemish to make it 2-1.
The Bears outshot the Sound Tigers 13-8 in the third period and continued to apply pressure in the final two minutes, especially after Bailey was called for tripping at the 18:07 mark. Hershey elected to pull Copley to make it 6-on-4, but Ben Holmstrom sealed the victory with an empty-net goal at 19:16. It was the captain's fifth tally of the season.
Both teams finished the contest 1-for-3 on the power play and Copley made 23 saves in the Bears' eighth straight loss.
Hershey outshot Bridgeport 33-26, which snapped the Sound Tigers' string of five consecutive games of outshooting their opponent.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return from All-Star Break next Friday with a 7 p.m. puck drop against the Springfield Thunderbirds at Webster Bank Arena. Take advantage of terrific concession specials throughout the evening, including $1 hot dogs presented by Hummel Bros. and $5 draft beers for those 21 and older, courtesy of Budweiser. Each special is available at all first-level concession stands.
Don't Go It Alone: Whether it's a corporate outing, a fundraiser, or just friends getting together, a group outing with the Sound Tigers will guarantee an unforgettable experience filled with fast-paced action on the ice, great music, promotions and contests at an affordable price. The Sound Tigers have a variety of packages and promotional events to offer. Please call the team's front office at 203-345-2300 ext. 7 for more information on the benefits of bringing your group to a future game!
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.