Sound Tigers Fall 5-0 Despite 39 Shots
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (33-27-5-3), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, guided 39 shots at goaltender Harri Sateri on Friday, but couldn't solve the Finnish netminder in a 5-0 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds (29-33-5-2) at MassMutual Center.
It was Sateri's (10-7-3) third shutout of the season and the fifth time Bridgeport has been blanked in 2017-18. On the offensive side, former Sound Tiger Anthony Greco scored twice and Bobby Farnham had three points (one goal, two assists) as Springfield took the 10-game season series 6-4-0-0.
With the setback, Bridgeport fell eight points behind the fourth-place Charlotte Checkers for a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. Charlotte earned one point a 4-3 overtime loss to the Rochester Americans this evening, but the Sound Tigers still have one game in hand. Bridgeport has eight games left in the regular season. It's elimination number is “eight.”
A chippy first period included eight combined penalties and a shorthanded goal for Farnham, which set the tone at the 11:21 mark. With Josh Brown in the box for high sticking, the Sound Tigers failed to convert on a number of opportunities before Chase Balisy gathered the puck and sprung Farnham the other way. The Thunderbirds forward gained possession through center and skated down the right wing before launching a wrist shot inside the left post, past Gudlevskis' blocker. It was his 10th goal of the season.
Greco and Francois Beauchemin each scored in the middle frame to put Springfield on top 3-0. The first came at 11:36 when Tim Erixon collected the puck deep in his own zone and flipped it down the ice, allowing Farnham to win a foot race and beat out an icing call. Farnham curled behind the net and nudged a pass in front where Beauchemin forced it home for his fifth goal of the season. Thirty-four seconds later, Greco drilled a one-timer past Gudlevskis' glove from the bottom of the right circle following Balisy's pass from below the goal line at 12:10.
Greco's second tally of the night came at 7:55 of the third period, pushing Springfield's lead to 4-0. A relentless Thunderbirds fore-check led to a turnover deep in Bridgeport's zone and Dryden Hunt filtered a pass to the left circle for another one-timer by Greco. It beat Gudlevskis' blocker for his team-leading 28th goal of the season and his ninth in 10 meetings against Bridgeport.
Alexandre Grenier capped the scoring at 11:14 of the third period with his 17th tally of the season. Balisy and Erixon teamed up to find Grenier open for a one-time blast in his return from injury.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-7 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill. Gudlevskis (12-15-5) made 25 saves in the contest, while Bridgeport outshot Springfield 39-30.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers face the Hartford Wolf Pack for the last time this season tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. puck drop at the XL Center. Fans can follow all of the live action from Springfield, Mass. on the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHL Live, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
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About the Bridgeport Sound Tigers
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