Power Play Propels Sound Tigers To 3-1 Win
Special teams was dominant on Wednesday as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (15-12-2-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, scored three times on the power play and were perfect on the penalty kill in a 3-1 win against the Hershey Bears (14-16-0-3) at Webster Bank Arena.
It was just the second time this season that Bridgeport has scored at least three times on the power play, with Scott Eansor, Michael Dal Colle and Tanner Fritz all capitalizing on the man advantage. Between the pipes, Christopher Gibson (11-6-1) backstopped the effort with 21 saves on his 25th birthday. Gibson now sits sixth on the Sound Tigers' all-time wins list for goaltenders (36).
The Bears' only tally came just 1:38 into the opening frame, which put the visitors on top first. Gibson saved an initial shot by Liam O'Brien from between the circles, but the puck trickled behind him and stopped at the goal line. That gave O'Brien enough time to skate around Gibson and tap the puck across the line for his eighth of the season. It was Gibson's only blemish on the night.
The Sound Tigers responded to Hershey's early lead and scored three unanswered goals to earn the victory, with two of them coming in the next four minutes. Eansor netted his team-leading 13th goal of the season and fifth on the power play at the 3:06 mark to make it 1-1. While Wayne Simpson was serving a high-sticking penalty, Eansor converted on a rebound opportunity created from Casey Bailey's wrist right at the doorstep against goaltender Vitek Vanecek.
Dal Colle notched the eventual game-winner just over two minutes later when he also capitalized on a Hershey penalty. After Riley Barber was called for hooking, Dal Colle skated to the slot and fired home a rocket that went five-hole on Vanecek, who was screened perfectly by Ross Johnston. It was Dal Colle's fourth tally of the season, which came at the 5:23 mark.
At 10:18 of the middle frame, Fritz added some insurance with Hershey down a man following a tripping penalty called against Vanecek. With a scrum developing in front of the net, Eansor and Bailey poked the puck free to Fritz, and the third-year forward pulled it away from a pile of bodies and flipped it over Vanecek's leg pad to give the Sound Tigers a 3-1 lead. It was Fritz's ninth goal of the season and it also capped his team-best 10th multi-point performance (one goal, one assist).
The Bears outshot the Sound Tigers 22-20, but Bridgeport finished the game 3-for-7 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill en route to its second straight win. Vanecek (5-4-0) made 17 saves on 20 shots for Hershey.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to action on Saturday with a 7 p.m. puck drop against the Binghamton Devils at Webster Bank Arena. Fans can follow all of the live action on the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHL Live, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
Hottest Tickets in Town: The Sound Tigers will boast one of their most extensive and exciting promotional lineups in team history this season. This year's calendar will feature Marvel (Jan. 27) superheroes, and all-new promotions like a camouflage baseball cap (Jan. 13) and a kid's lunch box giveaway (Feb. 11). Click here to tickets.
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 that occurs during home games 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. For more team information, log on to soundtigers.com.