Aho Steers Bridgeport To 3-2 Overtime Win
Sebastian Aho scored the game-winning goal just 26 seconds into overtime on Saturday as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (13-11-1-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, earned a 3-2 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (15-9-1-1) at Webster Bank Arena.
Scott Eansor and Devon Toews also scored for the Sound Tigers, helping to end the team's five-game winless streak dating back to Dec. 2. Christopher Gibson (9-6-0) stopped 15 of the 16 shots he faced in relief of Kristers Gudlevskis and picked up the come-from-behind victory.
In addition, Bridgeport's power play was strong and finished the game 2-for-4, with each of the club's last two goals being recorded on the man advantage. Bridgeport is now 1-1-0-0 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.
Greg McKegg put the Penguins on the board first at 6:56 of the opening period. McKegg skated around the back of the net and capitalized on a wrap-around effort for his second goal in five AHL games this season. The puck bounced off the leg pad of Gudlevskis, then hit the skate of a Bridgeport defenseman, before crossing the goal line.
More than a period later, Toews tied the game at 18:46 of the middle frame. The second-year defenseman received a drop pass from Kyle Burroughs at the blue line before walking to the left circle and firing a wrist shot past the glove of Casey DeSmith. It was Toews' seventh goal of the season, assisted by Burroughs and Josh Ho-Sang. Ho-Sang now has eight points (two goals, six assists) in eight AHL contests this year.
Bridgeport took its first lead at 13:46 of the third period when Eansor converted on the power play and backhanded in his team-leading 12th goal of the season. With Colin Smith in the box for high-sticking, the Sound Tigers applied pressure at the doorstep when Casey Bailey's shot redirected to the left of DeSmith, who was caught out of position. That gave Eansor an open net and he brushed a loose puck home on the backhand. Bailey and Fritz were credited with helpers, giving the latter a team-leading 28 points this season.
Less than two minutes later, the Penguins tied it again courtesy of reigning NCAA scoring champion, Zach Aston-Reese. The rookie forward found a sliding puck between the circles and sent a wrist shot past Gibson's glove for his third goal of the year. It forced overtime and helped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton collect one point.
Just 26 seconds into the extra frame, Aho buried the game winner for the Sound Tigers on the power play. Frank Corrado was called for boarding in the final minute of the third period, which rolled into overtime, and Bridgeport capitalized when Shane Prince fired a slap shot from the blue line that was deflected by Aho in front.
Bridgeport outshot Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 33-24, while DeSmith (10-3-2) turned back 31 shots. Gudlevskis made seven saves on eight shots in 22:29 of work before pulling himself due to a lower-body injury early in the second period.
The Sound Tigers went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena tomorrow afternoon to wrap up a three-game weekend series against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 3 p.m. Fans can also follow all of the live action on the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHL Live, beginning with the pre-game show at 2:45 p.m.
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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.