Sound Tigers Earn 10th Win Past Regulation Tuesday
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (26-17-4-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, bounced back from an early two-goal deficit on Tuesday and won their league-leading 10th game beyond regulation with a 3-2 shootout victory against the Hartford Wolf Pack (19-23-3-3) at the XL Center.
Jeff Kubiak scored for the second straight game (in his 100th professional contest) while Connor Jones also potted a first-period goal against Hartford's Dustin Tokarski, who was yanked after 11:21 of work. Chris Bourque converted the only tally in a three-round shootout and Christopher Gibson (12-9-4) made 25 saves in 65 minutes, and three more in the shootout.
With the win, the Sound Tigers maintained second place in the Atlantic Division (56 points) and moved three points ahead of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Providence Bruins.
The Wolf Pack came out strong in the first seven minutes, attempting to snap a seven-game losing streak (0-6-1-0) that has dropped them into the basement of the Atlantic Division. Steven Fogarty put Hartford on top 1-0 just 1:13 into the game when he registered a rebound goal for his 11th of the season. Ryan Gropp entered the zone and found a charging Vinni Lettieri on the right wing before Lettieri tried to elevate a shot top shelf. Gibson it turned back with his glove, but Fogarty cleaned it up in the low slot.
Gropp made it 2-0 at the 6:23 mark when he created a turnover in Bridgeport's zone and scored an unassisted goal. He intercepted a lead pass and maneuvered around Mitch Vande Sompel between the circles before beating Gibson's glove with a backhand shot for his fourth goal of the season.
Down but not out, the Sound Tigers quickly rallied in the opening period to tie the game with two goals just 84 seconds apart. Jones made it 2-1 at 9:57 when he was the beneficiary of John Stevens' confident efforts in the offensive end. Yannick Rathgeb played the puck to Stevens on the right wing, where he navigated through the circle, delayed, and squeezed a shot between Tokarski's legs. Although the shot got through, it slowed just ahead of the goal line where Jones nudged it across for his fourth goal of the season, and first since Nov. 11.
Kubiak followed with his fourth goal of the season at the 11:21 mark, which evened the contest at 2-2. Otto Koivula set up a two-on-one with a pass to Chris Bourque that sprung both Bourque and Kubiak across the blue line. Bourque skated through the left circle and found Kubiak in the slot, where the second-year forward hammered a one-timer past Tokarski's reaching arm.
Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge opted to pull Tokarski for Marek Mazanec following the tally, and Mazanec finished regulation with 25 saves on 25 shots.
Hartford outshot Bridgeport 10-9, but the Sound Tigers controlled the majority of the third period and outshot the Wolf Pack 11-7, not including Tanner Fritz's right-wing shot that rang off the post. However, no more goals were added, and the Sound Tigers went to overtime for the 16th time this season – third-most in the AHL.
Following a scoreless five-minute extra session that saw four combined shots, Bourque was the only one of five players to find the back of the net.
Bridgeport went 0-for-1 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. The Sound Tigers also outshot Hartford 32-27.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers conclude a three-game road trip on Friday with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.