WOLF PACK 4, SOUND TIGERS 2
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers fell to the Hartford Wolf Pack for the first time this season, dropping a 4-2 decision on Saturday night at XL Center.
Two shorthanded goals, including the game-winner by Marek Hrivik, led Hartford to their first win over the Sound Tigers in four tries this year.
A pair of stoppages for on-ice repairs highlighted an uneventful first period, as the glass was broken twice in the Wolf Pack end. Neither team could score and seemed to be slowed down by the two separate eight-minute stoppages. The Wolf Pack outshot the Sound Tigers 9-5 through 20 minutes.
12 minutes into the second period, it was the Wolf Pack who broke through to open the scoring. After the Sound Tigers had several chances to clear and the puck bounced around to the left of Stephon Williams, Ryan Bourque lifted a shot past the Bridgeport netminder to give Hartford a 1-0 lead.
The Sound Tigers responded with a couple of strong shifts in the offensive zone and were rewarded with the tying goal. It was Mike Halmo who got credit for it, as the winger flung a shot over the glove of Hellberg to even the score at 1-1. Joe Whitney and Bracken Kearns earned the assists on Halmo’s second goal of the season.
It looked as if the teams would go into the third period tied up, but a late penalty against the Sound Tigers proved to be costly. With Taylor Beck in the box for tripping. Calle Andersson fired a slap shot from the point that made its way through a screen and beat Williams to put Hartford on top 2-1. The Wolf Pack went into the intermission up by one after the power play marker.
The Sound Tigers earned a power play midway through the third period, but it was the Wolf Pack who got the goal that turned the tide of the game. Hrivik walked in with a wonderful individual play and roofed a backhander over Williams to put Hartford on top 3-1. It was only the second shorthanded goal the Sound Tigers had allowed this season.
Soon after, the Sound Tigers had a glorious chance to get back in the game, as Hartford took another penalty and sent the Sound Tigers to a 5-on-3 for 37 seconds. Although the first penalty expired, a perfect cross-ice pass by Jesse Graham found Taylor Beck who ripped one past Hellberg to make it a one-goal deficit again. It was Beck’s third goal in just two games.
Bridgeport had eight minutes to get back in the game, but couldn’t get one past Hellberg. Travis Oleksuk scored an empty netter while shorthanded to give Hartford its second goal down a man in the game.
Hartford went 1-for-4 on the power play while Bridgeport went 1-for-5. Williams made 22 saves for the Sound Tigers in the loss.
The Sound Tigers return home trying to make it two of three on the weekend when they take on the Hershey Bears at home. Puck drop is set for 5:00 p.m.
Whitney – Kearns – Halmo
Vaive – Wright – Beck
Johnston – Holmstrom – Florek
Jones – Root – Gomes
Pelech – Mayfield
Czuczman – Pulock
Finn – Graham