Following a penalty-filled contest, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost to the Manchester Monarchs 3-0 on Saturday. Jeff Schultz, Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli all scored third-period goals as the Monarchs won their third game of the season. The Sound Tigers, who fall to 1-2-0-0, got 21 saves from Anders Nilsson.
Marc Cantin was whistled for hooking at 3:31 of the first period, and the parade to the penalty box didn’t let up until the final horn blew. In all, 20 minor penalties were called in the contest, 11 of which led to Sound Tigers power plays. Manchester had opportunities with the man advantage, but neither team scored with the extra man.
“Referees often call the stick fouls early on in the season,” Sound Tigers head coach Scott Pellerin said. “We have to do a better job to make sure we’re in position so that hooking, holding and slashing isn’t happening.”
The best opportunities for the Sound Tigers came in the second period, when they generated 17 shots on goal, the most they’ve had in any period so far this season. Four of their 11 power plays came in the middle frame, and Riley Wetmore and Mike Halmo both had chances to open the scoring. However, Manchester goaltender Martin Jones, who earned the game’s first star by making all 38 saves, stood tall in net.
“We’ve got to finish better,” Pellerin said. “Sometimes the chances are there. Tonight we had 38 shots but we just weren’t able to put the puck in the net.”
Manchester scored all three of their goals in a seven-minute span in the third period. At the 10:45 mark, the team’s were four-on-four, though a delayed penalty was coming to Bridgeport. The Monarchs pulled Jones to make it five-on-four and Schultz took a feed from Linden Vey in the slot before rifling a wrist shot past Nilsson for the game’s opening goal. The Monarchs second goal came just 2:07 later when, with the teams four-on-four once again, Vey led a breakout before finding Pearson for his first goal of the season.
“I’m not sure how all four of their guys beat two of our players out of our zone,” Pellerin said of the second goal. “For that to happen in four-on-four play is unacceptable.”
With less than four minutes to go and Manchester’s Tyler Toffoli in the box, the Sound Tigers opted to pull Nilsson in favor of the extra attacker. When Toffoli emerged, however, he stripped Dallas Jackson of the puck and skated coast-to-coast to put it in the empty net and give the Monarchs the 3-0 lead.
The Sound Tigers return to action Sunday afternoon with a 3 p.m. game against the Springfield Falcons.
Sound Tigers Lines
9 Anders Lee-18 Ryan Strome-39 Joey Diamond
23 John Persson-28 Johan Sundstrom-16 Chris Bruton
26 Mike Halmo-19 Riley Wetmore-22 Alan Quine
49 Justin Johnson-72 Jason Clark- 14 Greg Miller
52 Joe Finley-12 Calvin de Haan
27 Aaron Ness-10 Scott Mayfield
15 Marc Cantin-21 Dallas Jackson
45 Anders Nilsson
35 Kenny Reiter