BRUINS 5, SOUND TIGERS 4
Jared Gomes scored a pair of goals but it wasn’t enough as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers fell 5-4 to the Providence Bruins on Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
It was the first time this season the Sound Tigers failed to record a point against the Bruins. Bridgeport dropped to 19-15-2-1 with the loss.
The Sound Tigers grabbed the lead just 1:38 into the hockey game, as Taylor Beck gave Bridgeport the lead. The winger took a pass from Carter Verhaeghe and ripped a shot past Providence netminder Malcolm Subban to make it 1-0 Sound Tigers. Beck’s goal was his 10th of the season, while Verhaeghe earned his first point as a Sound Tiger on the play and only his second AHL point.
Providence had an answer to Beck’s goal just four minutes later. After a turnover in the neutral zone, Anton Blidh skated down the right wing and wired a shot over the glove of Christopher Gibson to make it a tied hockey game. Blidh’s goal was his seventh point on the year, with all seven points coming from goals.
Three minutes later, the Bruins took the lead. This time it was Justin Hickman who was left alone in front redirecting a slap pass from Matt Irwin to put Providence in front. After a quick start by the Sound Tigers, Providence took over the rest of the period and held a 13-12 shot advantage after 20 minutes.
Providence got the first power plays of the game in the second period, as Bridgeport was down two men for 47 seconds. Although the league’s best power play did not score on the first penalty, Zach Phillips was able to convert on the second half of a double minor against the Sound Tigers. Phillips’ fourth of the season put the Bruins on top 3-1.
The Sound Tigers were having a tough time generating offense in the second, but a former Bruin got them back within one. Loic Leduc fired a shot on net that Justin Florek deflected past Subban to make it a 3-2 game. For Leduc, it was his first career AHL point and for Florek, his first goal since the third game of the season.
The period would end with a 3-2 score line, but not without a couple of great plays by the Sound Tigers defense. First it was Gibson, stoning former Sound Tiger Brandon DeFazio on a breakaway with the left pad. Then it was the rookie Kyle Burroughs, coming across to block Griffith who had a wide open net and keep the deficit at one.
The Bruins had a pair of quick strikes in the third to put them up by three. First it was Chris Casto beating Gibson over the glove to make it 4-2, then Anton Blidh scored short-handed to make it 5-2 Bruins not even five minutes into the final period.
Bridgeport was able to get two back from Gomes, who snuck one past Subban with 13:20 remaining on a delayed penalty. Subban was furious on the play, breaking his stick and receiving a 10-minute misconduct. Five and a half minutes later, Gomes scored again, beating Subban from the slot to make it 5-4.
The Sound Tigers had a bevy of chances with the clock expiring, but could not beat Subban. Bridgeport finished the game 0-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
The Sound Tigers stay on the road tomorrow when they take on the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
Whitney – Wright – Markison
Verhaeghe – Kearns – Beck
Florek – Holmstrom – Halmo
Gomes – Jones – Collberg
Cullity – Graham
Czuczman – Leduc
Burroughs – Pulock