SOUND TIGERS 4, COMETS 2
Matt Carkner and Jesse Graham scored 28 seconds apart in the early stages of the third period as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers downed the Utica Comets 4-2 on Saturday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.
The Sound Tigers made it six straight games with a point with the win, improving their record to 13-4-1-0 on the season.
The game saw four penalties in the first seven and a half minutes, but it was a short-handed goal that started the scoring. On an odd play where Bracken Kearns lost his helmet and did not want to be called for a penalty, Utica sprung out of their own zone 2-on-1. Wacey Hamilton’s initial shot was stopped, but Carter Bancks poked home the rebound to give the Comets a 1-0 lead. It was the first short-handed goal allowed by the Sound Tigers this season.
The Sound Tigers were able to notch their first of the game just 2:18 into the second period. On a scramble in front of the Comets net, the puck hopped out to the point where Scott Mayfield was able to corral it. Mayfield flicked a backhander on net that beat Comets netminder Joe Cannata to tied the game up at 1-1.
Bridgeport kept pressing and was rewarded with its first lead of the game. Jared Gomes did the dirty work in the corner and found James Wright in the slot. Wright’s initial try hit the post, but he slipped the rebound past Cannata to give the Sound Tigers a 2-1 lead. Wright’s second on the year came off assists from Gomes and Mike Halmo.
After the Comets failed to score on a 5-on-3, they finally got their first power play goal on a one-man advantage. Alex Friesen whiffed on his first try from out near the blue line, but his second try beat Stephon Williams to tie the game with 1:46 left in the second period. It was the only power play goal the Comets would get, as the Sound Tigers power play went 8-for-9 on the night.
Then the Sound Tigers took over the game in the third period. It was the defensemen making the plays, as Carkner pinched in from his point position and beating Cannata on the short side for his first goal of the season. Bracken Kearns and Sebastian Collberg assisted on the goal to put Bridgeport on top 3-2.
Just 28 seconds later, the Sound Tigers skated 2-on-1 into the Comets zone. Wright pulled up and waited for the trailing Jesse Graham, who received the pass from Wright and beat Cannata to make it 4-2. That was all the scoring Bridgeport needed, as the Sound Tigers cruised the rest of the way for the victory.
Bridgeport outshot the Comets 32-25 on the night, meaning Williams had to make just 23 saves for the victory. The Bridgeport power play went 0-for-5 on the night.
The Sound Tigers close out the three games in three days weekend when they host the Springfield Falcons tomorrow night at Webster Bank Arena. Puck drop is set for 5:00 p.m.
Collberg – Kearns – Strome
Wright – Quine – Halmo
Vaive – Jones – Holmstrom
Johnston – Gomes – Florek
Graham – Mayfield
Czuczman – Pulock
Finn – Carkner