WOLF PACK 4, SOUND TIGERS 3 (SO)
The Sound Tigers got a point, but Bridgeport fell in a shootout to the Hartford Wolf Pack 4-3 on Wednesday night at Webster Bank Arena.
It was the first time this season the Sound Tigers failed to get two points at home against the Wolf Pack. Kane Lafranchise picked up two assists for a season total of 10 in just 14 games and Christopher Gibson stopped 35 of 38 shots.
Kyle Burroughs put the Sound Tigers on the board first with a slapper from above the right circle that found its way past Magnus Hellberg. Lafranchise picked up his first assist of the night on the goal when he attempted to get the puck away from the defenders by passing it across the ice where it traveled up the boards and found the stick of Burroughs for his second of the season.
Mike Halmo added to the lead with 1:34 to go in the first frame when he took advantage of Hellberg’s missing stick. Carter Verhaeghe picked up the loose puck behind the net while Hellberg scrambled to get back in time. Verhaeghe crossed the puck through the crease to Halmo who lifted it up over the netminders shoulder for his 14th of the season.
The game was pretty much all Bridgeport early on leading 2-0 after one and outshooting Hartford 16-7, but the Wolf Pack would fight their way until the very end.
Hartford found itself a spot on the score sheet late in the second period with a Chad Nehring goal. Jayson Megna crossed a pass from the left boards to Calle Andersson at the right side of the crease where he fed it in front to the leading goal scorer who just got his stick on it enough to tap it in past Gibson.
The Sound Tigers were able to get the goal right back on the power play when Andersson took a hooking penalty. Lafranchise dumped the puck into the zone from the blue line where Alan Quine picked it up and skated in all alone down low where he beat a defender and roofed it past Hellberg.
The two goal lead once again didn’t last very long for the Sound Tigers when Luke Adam scored for the Wolf Pack. Nick Tarnasky fed the puck to Adam in the slot where he spun around and shot it on net to make it a 3-2 game.
The Wolf Pack took advantage of a power play of their own just 1:40 into the third period to tie the game at 3-3. Andersson netted his third of the season with a one-timer from the left point that seemed to have been redirected in front of the net past Gibson.
Both teams had an abundance of chances the remainder of the third period, but none could break the tie. Hartford’s best chance came with 3:18 to go when they seemed to have scored, but the officials disallowed the goal. For Bridgeport it came in the final seconds starting with a Justin Florek partial breakaway that led to shot after shot on Hellberg.
Overtime wasn’t enough for these two times either despite each team trading a slew of shots and both goalies making terrific saves and the final shot total reading 45-38 for Bridgeport.
Both Sound Tigers were stopped in the shootout while Nicklas Jensen and Adam Tambellini each scored for the Wolf Pack in the skills competition for the win.
Both teams went 1-for-4 on the man advantage, while Halmo finished the game with a goal and an assist. He was named the game’s third star.
The Sound Tigers next hit the ice when they take on the Providence Bruins on Friday, March 4 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center at 7:05 p.m.
Verhaeghe – Kearns – Halmo
Wright – Quine – Fritz
Vaive – Holmstrom – Florek
Johnston – Gomes – Markison
Czuczman – Mayfield
Lafranchise – Burroughs
Cullity – Graham