SOUND TIGERS 4, WOLF PACK 1
Taylor Beck scored twice and the Sound Tigers won their third straight game, defeating the Hartford Wolf Pack 4-1 on Friday night at XL Center.
It was the first loss for Hartford in nine games, as the Sound Tigers prevented the Wolf Pack from tying a franchise-high for winning streaks.
Much like last game, the fourth line dictated the play when they were on the ice. They were rewarded for their play when Colin Markison kept the puck in at the blue line and dished it to a wide-open Andrew Rowe. Rowe made a move around Magnus Hellberg and tucked the puck home to put the Sound Tigers on top 1-0.
Just three minutes later, Bridgeport doubled its lead. Alan Quine took the initial shot that was kicked out by Hellberg, but James Wright was on the spot, finding the rebound and beating the Wolf Pack netminder to make it 2-0 just eight minutes in. Quine’s helper marked his third straight game with an assist since returning from injury.
The Sound Tigers caught a break midway through the first when the Wolf Pack looked to have scored, poking a loose puck past J.F. Berube, but the referee lost sight of the puck and blew the play dead. Bridgeport went into the locker room up by two with the shots tied at 12 apiece after the first 20 minutes.
The Sound Tigers were quick to pad their lead in the second period, scoring three minutes into the middle frame. Beck skated down the right wing on a two-on-one and roofed a shot over the glove of Hellberg to make it 3-0 Sound Tigers. Beck’s 12th of the year came unassisted.
While the Sound Tigers were still celebrating their three-goal lead, Hartford got back a goal of its own. Just 14 seconds after the Beck tally, Travis Oleksuk won a faceoff back to Chris McCarthy, who fired a shot past the blocker of Berube to make it 3-1. McCarthy’s fourth of the season started an onslaught for Hartford in the second.
The Wolf Pack outshot the Sound Tigers 13-6 in the second period, but some superb goaltending by Berube kept Bridgeport’s lead at two. First he stoned Chad Nehring, who tried a wraparound with Berube off his post, but the netminder stretched his left pad out just in time. Oleksuk was the next victim of a Berube robbery, as the forward tipped a shot on net, but Berube flashed the blocker to keep the puck out.
Berube continued his stellar goaltending in the third with his best save of the game with the Sound Tigers on the power play. After a turnover right in front of the Sound Tigers net, Nicklas Jensen had all day to shoot, but Berube stoned him cold, keeping the game at 3-1.
Beck added another in the third period to complete the scoring. After taking a pass from Scott Mayfield, Beck pulled away from the Hartford defense and backhanded a shot over Hellberg’s blocker to make it 4-1 Sound Tigers.
Berube finished with 31 saves for his third straight win. Both power plays failed to convert in the game.
The Sound Tigers play their final game before the AHL All-Star Classic tomorrow night when they host the Albany Devils for the first time this season. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
Verhaeghe – Kearns – Beck
Wright – Quine – Halmo
Vaive – Holmstrom – Holmstrom
Rowe – Gomes – Markison
Cullity – Pulock
Czuczman – Mayfield
Lafranchise – Burroughs