Sound Tigers Come Up Short in 2-1 Setback
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (26-18-4-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, fell short of their third straight road win on Friday in a 2-1 setback to the Providence Bruins (25-16-6-1) at Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Steve Bernier scored his 15th goal of the season late in the third period to pull the Sound Tigers to within one after Providence potted a couple of second-period tallies. Those goals ultimately pushed the Bruins to their sixth straight victory and extended their point streak to 12. Jeremy Smith (14-9-2) made 19 saves for the Sound Tigers, while Zane McIntyre (18-8-3) stopped 25 shots for his 10th straight win.
With the setback, Bridgeport maintained second place in the Atlantic Division standings, but Providence moved to within one point of the Sound Tigers heading into tomorrow's 7 p.m. rematch at Webster Bank Arena.
Following a scoreless opening period that saw 22 combined shots, Providence struck first at 4:33 of the middle frame when Jordan Szwarz scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season. Tanner Pond directed the puck to Szwarz on the right side and the Bruins captain skated through the circle before wristing a short-side shot, past Smith's glove.
Quinnipiac University product Connor Clifton made it 2-0 later in the period when he converted his fifth goal of the season at the 17:25 mark. While Anton Blidh and Gemel Smith played catch in the Sound Tigers' zone, Clifton hustled off the bench and darted to the high slot. Smith pulled up in the right circle and slipped a pass to Clifton, who slapped a low shot under the Bridgeport netminder for the Bruins' final goal.
The game stayed 2-0 throughout the majority of the third period before Bernier received credit for his team-leading ninth power-play goal this season at the 15:22 mark, which had to be overturned via video review. Chris Bourque back-peddled from the right half-wall to the corner and snapped a sharp-angle shot towards the Bruins' crease. It was deflected into the air by Otto Koivula and nudged across the goal line by Bernier, but the referee immediately waved it off. During the next stoppage more than two minutes later, the officials reviewed the call and rewarded Bridgeport with the tally.
Despite added pressure in the final five minutes and just two shots from the Bruins, the Sound Tigers failed to even the score and fell to 4-3-1-0 against Providence this season. Six of the eight meetings this year have resulted in a one-goal outcome and 30 of Bridgeport's 50 games overall have also ended in a one-goal decision (most in the AHL).
Bridgeport finished the game 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena tomorrow night for “Stick It to Cancer” Weekend, featuring a 7 p.m. rematch against Providence to complete their home-and-home series. The game will air across the Sound Tigers Radio Network and may be viewed live via AHLTV. Pre-game coverage is set to begin at 6:45 p.m.
Stick It 2 Cancer Weekend: Some things are much bigger than hockey. This weekend, the Sound Tigers will drop the gloves against adult and pediatric cancers with they host the Providence Bruins on Saturday and Utica Comets on Sunday at Webster Bank Arena. The weekend begins with a pre-game wine tasting party on Saturday that benefits the Danni Kemp Cancer Support Fund. You can also take advantage of a Stick It 2 Cancer t-shirt package that benefits Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer, LIVFREE and Ryan's Rebels. The Sound Tigers will sport specialty gold and blue jerseys on Sunday to raise awareness for childhood cancers.
Packed Promotional Lineup: The Sound Tigers boast one of their most extensive and wide-ranging promotional schedules ever for the 2018-19 season. The fan-friendly calendar includes the return of popular themes like Hockey and Hops (Mar. 17) and Princess Night (Mar. 30). Regional hockey fans will also be elated for the addition of Hockey Weekend in Connecticut (Feb. 23-24). View the full 2018-19 promotional schedule.
For additional details or to reserve a group outing for any giveaway or theme night, please call the Sound Tigers' front office 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 email@example.com.