FALCONS 2, SOUND TIGERS 0
The Sound Tigers were shut out for the first time this season in a 2-0 loss against the Springfield Falcons on Saturday night.
Fighting, penalties and ejections overshadowed what was otherwise a fast-paced game of hockey that saw 41 shots by the Sound Tigers and 41 saves from Falcons goalie Nicklas Treutle.
After standing tall against an early barrage of shots, Christopher Gibson was beat by left-winger Lucas Lessio to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead with just 5:33 gone in the first. Lessio sent a wicked backhand wrister past the Sound Tigers netminder for his fourth goal of the season, while Tyler Gaudet recorded his second assist on the play, and Alex Grant got his 11th on the secondary assist.
In a period filled with offensive chances, Bridgeport had 11 shots to Springfield’s 13, the Sound Tigers were unable to break through against Treutle. Ross Johnston had the best chance for the home squad when he sent a wrister from the right side towards goal. Treutle made the stop and covered the puck, well aware of Justin Florek hunting for the rebound.
The opportunities didn’t stop for the Sound Tigers in the second period, who sent a storm of shots at Treutle early on. Florek sent a slap shot towards the net that was sent away, but Jared Gomes almost took advantage of the rebound off Treutle’s blocker. Gomes didn’t stop then when he nearly found James Wright on a cross-ice pass in front of the net, and then seconds later tried to even the score with a backhanded shot that was saved by Treutle.
The two teams traded penalties all second period but neither side was able to take advantage. The Sound Tigers nearly tied the game at the 8:50 mark when Wright appeared to have deflected a Jesse Graham slapshot into the net, but the deflection hit off the crossbar without crossing the line.
The Sound Tigers ripped shot after shot at Treutle in the final minute of the period when they spent most of their fourth power play in the offensive zone. However, the Falcons goalie continued to stand on his head with a total of 19 saves in the second to keep Bridgeport off the board.
The Sound Tigers began the third period much like they started the second peppering shots at the Falcons net. Wright almost broke through when he tried to bury the rebound from his own one-timer, which was stopped by Treutle’s glove, but hit the far pipe.
Penalties would eventually haunt the Sound Tigers when Grant doubled the Falcons lead on their sixth power play of the night. Grant faked a huge slapshot, only to move to his right and send a wrister just over Gibson’s right shoulder. It was his third goal of the season, and second point of the night. Dustin Jeffrey and Derek Smith each earned their first point of the night, and 11th assist on the play.
With 5:00 minutes left in the third period, tempers boiled over when a Falcons player hit the net behind Gibson causing him to fall over. After what appeared to be the second missed goalie interference call of the possession, Head Coach Brent Thompson made sure his frustrations were known, eventually resulting in his ejection from the game. Bracken Kearns was given a 10-minute misconduct and would also finish the period in the locker room. With only 28 seconds left in the game, multiple Sound Tigers went to the locker room early after a brawl stemming from a huge hit by Ben Holmstrom.
The Sound Tigers outshot the Falcons 41-31, but penalties and excellent goaltending from Treutle proved to be too much to overcome. The loss Saturday night ended a six-game point streak for Bridgeport.
The Sound Tigers will look to start up a new streak when they take on the Albany Devils at the Times Union Center on Wednesday, November 25 at 7:00 p.m.
Collberg – Kearns – Strome
Wright – Quine – Halmo
Vaive – Jones – Holmstrom
Johnston – Gomes – Florek
Graham – Mayfield
Czuczman – Pulock
Finn – Carkner