The Bridgeport Sound Tigers were defeated by the St. John’s IceCaps Friday night by a final score of 3-2. Kevin Poulin was a big bright spot for the Sound Tigers and made 35 saves on the contest. The Sound Tigers trailed 3-0 in the third period, but goals from Johan Sundstrom and Joey Martin made it a one-goal game late.
In the first period, the Sound Tigers killed off three straight penalties through the early stages, before finally giving one up at the 16:19 mark. Jerome Samson took the puck near the top of the blue paint after receiving a feed from Jason Jaffray. Samson stickhandled and found the back of the net to notch his team-leading 19th goal of the season. Poulin was otherwise outstanding in the first and made 23 saves on 24 IceCaps shots.
It remained a 1-0 game through the late stages of the second period, when the IceCaps doubled their lead on a goal from Julian Melchiori. Melchiori had the puck at the top of the right circle and, with a screen in front fired a wrist shot past Poulin at the 14:25 mark of the middle frame.
The IceCaps took a 2-0 lead into the third, and former Sound Tiger Blair Riley got on the board to extend the lead early in the period. Kyle MacKinnon skated into the zone and looked to shoot, but he fanned on the opportunity, the puck got caught up in the skates of the Sound Tigers defense, however, and Riley crashed the net to poke it in with just 1:13 gone by in the third.
The Sound Tigers stayed in the game, though, with a goal less than two minutes later from Sundstrom. He took the puck at the right point and put a shot on net through traffic. IceCaps goaltender Michael Hutchison was late to react, and the puck got past him for Sundstrom’s seventh of the season.
The Sound Tigers continued their comeback later in the period when Martin drove to the net for his second of the season. Scooter Vaughan had the puck below the goal line and found Martin with a centering pass to make it a 3-2 game with 2:10 left to play in regulation. The Sound Tigers were unable to get any closer, however, as Aaron Ness was whistled for a kneeing penalty and was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct with less than 1:30 to play. Though the Sound Tigers were able to get Poulin out of the net for an extra attacker, they were not able to sustain any offensive-zone pressure, and the IceCaps came away with a 3-2 win.
The two teams return to the ice Saturday night for the second game of their weekend series at Mile One Centre.
3rd star: Blair Riley (STJ)
2nd star: Kevin Poulin (BST)
1st star: Julian Melchiori (STJ)
Sound Tigers Bloodlines: St. John's boasts three former Sound Tigers on their roster: Blair Riley, Jordan Hill and Kael Mouillierat.
Unfamiliar Territory: This was the Sound Tigers' first trip to St. John's since the beginning of the 2011-2012 season, nearly two and a half years ago.
Streaky: After a seven-game winning streak was snapped last week, the Sound Tigers have now lost three in a row. All three games have been decided by just one goal.