SOUND TIGERS 4, FALCONS 0
Stephon Williams stopped all 26 shots he faced for his first professional shutout as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers downed the Springfield Falcons 4-0 on Saturday night at Webster Bank Arena.
After the Sound Tigers let up five goals last time out against the Falcons, Stephon Williams stood tall early and finished the first period with 14 saves to put up a zero through 20 minutes. The best Falcons chance was on an Eric Selleck breakaway, but Williams sent the shot wide, and followed it up with a sprawling save to keep the shutout alive.
With 2:05 left in the opening period, Matt Carkner got called for holding on the first penalty of the game. Scott Mayfield would join him in the box a minute later for cross-checking to give the Falcons the five-on-three man advantage. The story continued to be Williams who stood on his head and the Sound Tigers were able to kill one penalty before the intermission.
The Sound Tigers opened the second period with an offensive flurry and tested Falcons netminder Tyler Beskorowany early. Adam Pelech came closest to burying the game’s first goal when he sent a slapshot to the top left but it ricocheted off the post twice and shot back out the other side.
Bridgeport kept the pressure up throughout the period, outshooting the Falcons 20-6 while Williams continued his stellar play in the net. The 22-year-old netminder made a brilliant glove save when he moved to his left on a Domenic Monardo one-timer to maintain the shutout.
The pressure paid off when Sebastian Collberg sent a wrister past Beskorowany for his first goal of the season. Collberg and Carkner executed a beautiful back and forth exchange to give Carkner the assist, his fourth of the year, while Bracken Kearns recorded his sixth assist on the play.
Kearns doubled the lead with six minutes gone in the final period when a Joe Whitney shot was blocked straight up into the air, but Kearns never gave up and snuck the puck past Beskorowany for his eighth goal of the season and second point of the night. Ryan Pulock and Joe Whitney were credited with assists on the play, giving Whitney his team-leading 15th point on the season.
Alan Quine stretched the lead even further when he buried a rebound from an Adam Pelech slapshot. Quine’s fifth goal of the year put the Sound Tigers up 3-0 with five minutes to play in the third period. The goal was Quine’s fourth straight game with a goal, a new high for the Sound Tigers this season.
Justin Vaive put the finishing touches on the game when he beat Beskorowany on a breakaway with less than a minute remaining. It was Vaive’s fourth goal of the year and gave the home team a 4-0 lead that would stand until the closing buzzer.
Bridgeport’s power play only got one chance on the night, going 0-for-1, while the penalty kill did its job going 4-for-4.
The Sound Tigers will look to sweep the weekend when they take on the Hartford Wolf Pack for the first time tomorrow night. Puck drop is set for 5:00 p.m.
Whitney – Kearns – Collberg
Halmo – Quine – Strome
Vaive – Wright – Holmstrom
Johnston – Verhaeghe – Florek
Pelech – Mayfield
Czuczman – Pulock
Graham – Carkner