SOUND TIGERS 7, WOLF PACK 3
Andrew Rowe notched a hat trick, the Sound Tigers power play went 4-for-7 and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers made it eight straight wins with a 7-3 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday night at Webster Bank Arena.
Tonight’s win puts Bridgeport one win shy of its all-time win streak of nine games back in 2003. It was the second straight game the Sound Tigers scored seven goals.
The Sound Tigers got on the board with just 6:26 gone in the opening period when Colin Markison buried his second goal of the season. Loic Leduc ripped a slapshot at Jeff Malcolm from the blueline that was stopped, but Jared Gomes and Markison never gave up on the rebound and Markison eventually sent it home. Gomes earned his sixth assist of the season and Sebastian Collberg earned his seventh.
Bridgeport wasted no time doubling the lead when Taylor Beck scored less than a minute later with a rare Sound Tigers power-play goal after Tyler Brown was called for hooking. Alan Quine, who got his 16th assist of the season, shot a cross-ice pass over to Beck who sent a wrister flying past Malcolm and into the top corner. It was Beck’s 14th goal of the season, while Bracken Kearns recorded his 22nd assist of the season on the goal.
Clearly an assist wasn’t enough for Quine who scored a power-play goal of his own when Nicklas Jensen went to the box for holding with 11:00 gone in the first. Rowe’s late-game heroics against Hershey carried over and he earned his first assist since being called up to the Sound Tigers. Beck joined Quine with his second point of the first period off the secondary assist.
Bridgeport extended the lead just 5:33 into the second period with yet another power-play goal. Quine whipped a wrister from the right faceoff circle which bounced off of Malcolm, but Rowe was there to knock the rebound into the back of the net for his second point of the night. Quine and Beck each earned their second assist, and third point of the game, on the goal.
It took the Wolf Pack a period and a half to make a dent in the Sound Tigers lead when Nick Tarnasky found the back of the net for the 11th time this year. Christopher Gibson made a sprawling save on a Luke Adam shot from right in front of the net, but Tarnasky was able to take advantage of the rebound with a backhander. Adam got his seventh assist of the season, and Chris McCarthy was credited with his 11th assist on the Hartford goal.
Bridgeport pushed their lead back up to four just seconds after a power-play opportunity ended on Kyle Burroughs’ first career AHL goal. As the power-play wound down, James Wright flicked a backhand pass across the ice to a cutting Burroughs who sent the wrister right past Malcolm from the right faceoff circle. Wright, thanks to his nifty play-making skills, earned his 12th assist of the season, and Justin Vaive joined the scoring with his sixth assist of the season.
After Hartford cut the deficit back to three on a Raphael Diaz power-play goal, Rowe netted his second goal of the game just two seconds before the end of the second period. The puck redirected behind the net to Kearns who rifled a pass across the net to Rowe for the one-timer from the left side to beat Malcolm yet again. Beck racked up his third assist to push his point total for the night up to four, on the fourth Bridgeport power-play goal.
Thirty seconds after Hartford got its third goal thanks to a Nicklas Jensen slapshot, Rowe completed his first career hat-trick, and his fifth goal in the last two games, on a slick penalty shot against Malcolm. Skating calmly down the middle of the ice, Rowe waited for just the right moment before he whipped the wrister into the left corner of the net for the seventh Sound Tigers goal of the night.
Even though the offense was the main story of the night Hartford still outshot Bridgeport 38-30, but Christopher Gibson was solid between the pipes and finished with 35 saves for his 14th win of the season.
The Sound Tigers are now 27-19-2-1, good enough for 57 points on the season, and will look to keep the winning streak going when they take on the Albany Devils tomorrow night at 3:00 p.m.
Rowe – Kearns – Beck
Wright – Quine – Halmo
Vaive – Holmstrom – Holmstrom
Collberg – Gomes – Markison
Lafranchise – Pulock
Czuczman – Mayfield
Burroughs – Leduc