Sound Tigers Fall To Phantoms in Overtime
Travis St. Denis forced overtime with the game-tying goal in the final 10 seconds of regulation on Saturday, but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (10-7-1-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 5-4 loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (12-6-0-2) at the PPL Center.
Will O'Neill scored twice for Lehigh Valley, including the winner at 1:22 of overtime, as the Phantoms snapped a three-game losing streak at home. On the flip side, the Sound Tigers earned a point for the fifth straight game and the fifth straight contest on the road, but saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.
In addition to St. Denis, Tanner Fritz, Michael Dal Colle and Stephen Gionta found the back of the net for Bridgeport, while Casey Bailey (pictured) led all shooters with a season-high 10 shots on target.
Fritz opened the scoring just 82 seconds into the first period when he recorded his fourth goal of the season, and his team-leading 17th point. From the left point, Kane Lafranchise guided a shot towards the crease that goaltender Alex Lyon kicked back, but Ryan Bourque knocked the rebound to Fritz who forced it in past Lyon's right leg. The Sound Tigers controlled the majority of the opening frame and outshot the Phantoms 12-5, en route to a 1-0 lead after one.
Greg Carey answered with the only power-play tally of the night at 9:24 of the second period to make it 1-1. With Kyle Burroughs in the box for tripping, Phil Varone slipped a backhand pass to the doorstep, where Oscar Lindblom bumped it to the left post for a one-time shot by Carey. It was his ninth goal of the season and third on the power play after he ranked second in the League in power-play goals a year ago.
Less than two minutes later, Dal Colle handed Bridgeport its second lead of the night when he buried a rebound to make it 2-1. Seth Helgeson and Sebastian Aho played catch at the blue line before the latter fired a shot that Lyon turned aside, but Dal Colle guided home the second chance for his second goal of the season.
Lehigh Valley rallied back to tie the game at two just 1:21 later courtesy of Mark Alt's fourth goal of the year. Following a shot from Mikhail Vorobyov, the puck rattled around in the slot and slid to the top of the right circle, where Alt walked into a one-time blast that sailed over Gudlevskis' right shoulder. It was Alt's fourth point in two appearances against the Sound Tigers this season.
Gionta put Bridgeport out front for a third time in the final minute of the middle frame. As John Stevens found Burroughs at the right point, Gionta created space at the left post and called for a diagonal feed. Burroughs noticed the opportunity and put a cross-ice pass directly on the mark, which set up Gionta for a one-time goal. It was his first tally in six games this season.
The Phantoms took their first lead of the night with a pair of goals less than two minutes apart in the third period. Nicolas Aube-Kubel made it 3-3 at the 13:21 mark when he received a stretch pass from T.J. Brennan and walked over the blue line before cutting towards the top of the slot. There, Aube-Kubel fired a shot past Gudlevskis' blocker for his fifth tally of the season. O'Neill followed at the 15:10 mark and gave Lehigh Valley its first lead of the night with his second goal of the year. The sixth-year defenseman settled the puck near the left corner, turned, and elevated a sharp-angle slap shot into the top right corner of the net to give the Phantoms a 4-3 lead.
With time winding down, head coach Brent Thompson opted to pull Gudlevskis for the extra attacker and it worked to perfection as St. Denis made it 4-4 with 10 seconds remaining. Fritz and Devon Toews teamed up to create a scrambled in the crease and St. Denis poked home his sixth goal of the season, which also extended his point streak to a season-best five games (four goals, two assists).
In overtime, O'Neill earned the Phantoms the extra point when he capitalized on 2-on-1 rush by beating Gudlevskis from the right circle. Bridgeport is now 1-1 beyond regulation this season.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. Gudlevskis (4-3-1) made 19 saves on 24 shots, while Lyon (7-5-1) stopped 35 of 39 chances for Lehigh Valley.
Bridgeport outshot its opponent for the 14th time in 18 games this season, 39-24.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers continue a three-game road trip tomorrow night with a 5 p.m. matchup against the Hershey Bears at the GIANT 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 4:45 p.m. tomorrow.
Star Wars Night: If you're a Star Wars fanatic, then Saturday, Dec. 2 against the Utica Comets is for you! The first 3,000 fans will take home a limited edition Sound Tigers light saber when doors open at 6 p.m. and the team will wear Star Wars jerseys during the game, which will be up for bid at a silent auction on the Webster Bank Arena concourse. Plus, you just might bump into popular members of the Star Wars trilogy. Limited ticket packages are available now that feature access to the game, a character bobblehead and more starting at $25. The package also includes a pass to see "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" in theaters, courtesy of Bow Tie Cinemas. For more info and to order this special package, call 203.345.2300 Option 7 or CLICK HERE.
Guarantee Your Seats: Season tickets and flex plans are on sale now for the 2017-18 campaign, offering the greatest savings and ultimate flexibility of all ticket packages. Pick between a full-season, 20-game, 15-game or 10-game plan and you'll also be entitled to exclusive benefits, including the ticket holder exchange policy, which means any unused tickets can be traded for future games. Seating options are broken down into six different pricing sections, giving you the flexibility to fit Sound Tigers' hockey into any kind of budget. Please contact Brad Dworin at 203-345-4813 or via email@example.com with questions or to guarantee your seats.
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.