SOUND TIGERS 5, BRUINS 4
Ross Johnston scored the lone goal of the third period as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers downed the Providence Bruins 5-4 on Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Bridgeport improved to 4-0-0-0 on the season, becoming the first team in the league to reach four wins this year.
The game got interesting just two and a half minutes in. With the Sound Tigers down a man, Adam Pelech fired a slap shot that beat McIntyre over the glove and went off the end boards. Play continued for several minutes before the Sound Tigers were whistled for a penalty.
After a lengthy review of nearly 10 minutes, the referees deemed that Pelech’s shot went through the net and was a good goal. The tally was the first of Pelech’s career and third shorthanded goal of the season for Bridgeport.
With the Sound Tigers already down a man, the penalty whistled at the end of the play after Pelech’s goal was still enforced, leading to a 1:51 5-on-3 for the Bruins. The team took just 37 seconds to score, as Alexander Khokhlachev found the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
Not even three and a half minutes later, Scott Mayfield got the Sound Tigers right back on top. Mayfield’s point shot found its way through a maze of bodies and settled into the back of the net to make it 2-1 Bridgeport. The two goals for the Sound Tigers came on their first two shots of the game.
The first also had a scary moment, as Bridgeport netminder Christopher Gibson was bowled into at the midway point of the frame. Gibson was slow to get up and looked as if he’d come out, but decided to stay in the game for the time being. Gibson did not come out to start the second period and was replaced by Stephon Williams.
After another Sound Tigers penalty, the Bruins cashed in once again. Mayfield ended up in the box for cross-checking and the league’s leading scorer Frank Vatrano made him pay. Vatrano fired a shot from the right circle through Gibson’s five hole to tie the game at 2-2 after 20 minutes of play.
The scoring continued in the second period. Alan Quine scored first to make it 3-2, then Quine found Kirill Petrov with a beautiful pass who buried it in the back of the net to make it 4-2. The goal was Petrov’s first in the AHL and gave the Sound Tigers a two-goal lead.
Providence once again had an answer for the Sound Tigers scoring. With Taylor Beck in the box for tripping, Khokhlachev notched his second of the game and third power play goal for the Bruins to make it 4-3. Then just a minute later, Colby Cave scored his second of the season to make it 4-4.
Then with 13:36 remaining in the final period, Johnston closed out the scoring. Sebastian Collberg made a strong move through neutral ice to gain the Bruins zone, then found Johnston in front of the net with a pass. Johnston got just enough of the puck to find the back of the net and give the Sound Tigers a lead they would not relinquish.
Providence went 3-for-4 on the power play while Bridgeport went 0-for-2. Williams and McIntyre made 12 saves each while Gibson made six stops.
The two teams play again tomorrow night at Webster Bank Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
Whitney – Kearns – Beck
Halmo – Quine – Petrov
Vaive – Wright – Florek
Johnston – Holmstrom – Collberg
Pelech – Mayfield
Czuczman – Pulock
Finn – Graham