SOUND TIGERS 4, WOLF PACK 2
Joe Whitney scored another hat trick against the Hartford Wolf Pack to propel the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to a 4-2 win on Sunday night at Webster Bank Arena.
The Sound Tigers are now 3-for-3 against the Wolf Pack this season, with Whitney recording seven points in the three games.
The Sound Tigers struck first at 4:26 of the second period. After a drive by Matt Carkner that went wide to the right corner, Whitney circled around the net to the left circle and lifted one high over Hellberg’s left shoulder for his ninth goal of the season. Carkner tallied his sixth assist.
A turnover by Justin Vaive deep in the defensive zone allowed the Wolf Pack to tie the game at one. Travis Oleksuk recovered the puck and got it over to Brian Gibbons who wrapped it behind the net and shoved it past Gibson on his right side.
Before they could announce the Wolf Pack goal, Whitney found the back of the net once again. The forward took off down the left boards with the puck and attempted a cross ice pass through the middle that went off a Wolf Pack stick and right back to him. Whitney fired a shot from the middle that went passed Hellberg for his second of the night.
Just under two minutes later, a Wolf Pack faceoff win led to a nice pass across the blue line from Mat Bodie right over to Ryan Graves who let one rip with an open lane to the back of the net to tie the game once again at two goals a piece.
With 1:22 remaining, it was Whitney’s time to shine. Whitney took on three members of the Wolf Pack up the middle into the offensive zone. After losing the puck for a brief second he recovered and got the shot off for a hat trick. This was Whitney’s second hat trick in just five games for the Sound Tigers point leader.
The final period consisted of multiple scoring opportunities by both teams. Whitney looked to net his fourth of the night, while the Wolf Pack looked to get the score even at three. A power play opportunity was provided with under five minutes remaining for Hartford when Johnston was sent off for holding the stick, but nothing came of it.
Gibson was tested as the final minutes of the third period wound down. With Hellberg pulled for the extra attacker with two minutes remaining, Gibson stood on his head facing a slew of shots. Collberg blocked a shot by Megna and sent the puck flying down the ice to secure the win with an empty net goal of his own.
With five total second period goals including a hat trick from Whitney, this Sound Tiger victory is their first in four games and snaps the Wolf Pack’s two game winning streak.
The Sound Tigers wait until Friday for their next opponent when they travel to Portland to face off against the Pirates. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
Whitney – Kearns – Collberg
Wright – Quine – Beck
Johnston – Holmstrom – Florek
Vaive – Jones – Gomes
Pelech – Mayfield
Czuczman – Pulock
Graham – Carkner