SOUND TIGERS 3, ICECAPS 2 (SO)
Connor Jones scored in the ninth round of the shootout and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers prevailed over the St. John’s IceCaps 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at Mile One Centre.
The final scoreline was unthinkable just half an hour earlier, as the teams could not score in the first two periods. Dustin Tokarski was brilliant in net for the IceCaps, stopping 26 shots through the first two frames, including a couple of sprawling saves in the middle frame while he was down and out.
Sound Tigers netminder Christopher Gibson had to face just eight shots in the first 40 minutes, but stopped arguably the best chance of the game up to that point. Charles Hudon blew by the Sound Tigers defense on the left wing and Gibson was forced to make a fantastic blocker save to keep the game scoreless.
Finally with 7:31 left in the final stanza, Bracken Kearns found Joe Whitney in the slot, who fired home his fifth goal of the season to give Bridgeport a 1-0 lead. Kirill Petrov notched the secondary assist on Whitney’s second goal in as many games.
St. John’s found their scoring legs with just over five minutes left to go in the period. The IceCaps started getting pucks to Gibson in the third, with double the amount of shots in the closing period as they had in the first two periods. Mark Barberio was able to find a loose puck in the crease and jam home his first goal as an IceCap to tie things at 1-1.
With 2:45 left to go in regulation, Whitney and Kearns hooked up again, this time with Whitney feeding Kearns for his fifth goal of the season, giving the Sound Tigers the lead once again. Kearns also had a goal and an assist last night, giving him two points on the night and four for the weekend.
It seemed as if that would be it, as Bridgeport wound down the clock and had a defensive zone face off with just seconds remaining. However, Michael McCarron fired a shot over Gibson’s glove with just 1.1 seconds remaining to tie the game and force it to overtime.
After a failed Sound Tigers 4-on-3 power play in the overtime period, the game went to a shootout. Hudon, Christian Thomas and Gabriel Dumont scored in the first, fifth and seventh rounds, respectively, while Alan Quine, Taylor Beck and Mike Halmo responded. After Markus Eisenschmid failed to convert in the ninth round, it was Jones, playing his first-ever game as a Bridgeport Sound Tiger, beating Tokarski to the blocker side, giving Bridgeport the win.
Gibson made 25 saves and earned the win, while Tokarski was the hard-luck loser with 35 stops. Both power plays failed to convert, with Bridgeport going 0-for-4 and St. John’s going 0-for-2.
The Sound Tigers continue their four game road trip when they travels to Springfield on Wednesday to take on the Falcons. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
Whitney – Kearns – Petrov
Halmo – Quine – Holmstrom
Vaive – Wright – Beck
Johnston– Jones – Florek
Pelech – Mayfield
Czuczman – Pulock
Finn – Carkner