Gibson's Second Straight Shutout Backstops 4-0 Win
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (24-20-5-3), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, snapped their five-game slide in a big way on Sunday with a 4-0 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack (25-23-4-3) in front of 5,001 fans at Webster Bank Arena.
Christopher Gibson (18-11-3) earned his second shutout in as many games and his career-best fourth of the season (22 saves), while Travis St. Denis scored twice for Bridgeport. Parker Wotherspoon and Steve Bernier also found the back of the net as the Sound Tigers improved to 6-1-1-1 against the Wolf Pack this season.
Gibson now ranks sixth among AHL netminders with a 2.31 goals-against-average this season.
Wotherspoon put the Sound Tigers out front with a highlight-reel effort just 2:44 into the second period after a scoreless opening frame. After he received the puck from Casey Bailey in the neutral zone, Wotherspoon skated across the blue line and knifed through a pair of Hartford defensemen. Wotherspoon continued between the face-off circles and flipped a backhand shot over Brandon Halverson's glove all while falling onto his stomach. It was Wotherspoon's third goal of the season and first since Dec. 15.
At 6:17 of the second period, the Sound Tigers doubled their lead courtesy of St. Denis. Kane Lafranchise skated into the right face-off circle after he received a feed from Ryan Bourque and issued a pass to St. Denis, who was positioned directly in front of the crease. The second-year forward, in his 100th professional game, glided a shot just under Halverson's stick to make it 2-0.
Bernier made it 3-0 when he scored his 13th goal of the season at 13:52 of the final frame. Andre Benoit set it up with a terrific bank pass in the neutral zone, which Bernier settled in transition and charged directly to the slot. The veteran proceeded to fire a wrist shot that sailed over Halverson's blocker.
Less than three minutes later, St. Denis capped the scoring with his second goal of the game and his 13th of the season to make it 4-0. The Sound Tigers forced a turnover in the neutral zone that created a 2-on-1 rush for Bernier and St. Denis, and St. Denis buried a one-time shot following a cross-ice pass from Bernier. It was the second two-goal performance of the season for St. Denis.
In the win, the Sound Tigers finished 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill. Bridgeport outshot Hartford 41-22, while Halverson (1-3-0) made 37 saves. The Sound Tigers improved to 2-3-1-0 when recording 40-plus shots in an outing. In addition, it was Bridgeport's first victory when scoring at least four goals in a game this calendar year.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers are back in action this Friday, February 23 with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Fans can follow all of the live action on the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHL Live, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
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.