SOUND TIGERS 3, PENGUINS 2
Stephon Williams made 30 saves in a stellar performance, helping the Bridgeport Sound Tigers beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3-2 on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.
It was the same score line as a month ago, with Bridgeport holding on in the final minutes to defeat the Penguins back on February 6. The Sound Tigers have won the last three visits to Wilkes-Barre.
Williams was the story early for Bridgeport, stopping all 16 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shots in the first period. Williams stopped Josh Archibald on a 2-on-1 in tight, then robbed Adam Krause with the glove. The Sound Tigers had to kill a 5-on-3 in the first as well, but Williams stood tall, stopping Krause on a breakaway twice for good measure.
The first goal of the game came on the power play for the Penguins, with James Wright in the box for cross-checking. Former Sound Tiger Kael Mouillierat fanned on the shot, but the puck came loose right to Tom Kostopoulos who buried it for his 15th goal of the season. It was Kostopoulos’ eighth point in his last three games.
Bridgeport would not be outdone, getting the equalizer midway through the second. It was Colin Markison getting the goal, coming back into the lineup after missing last night’s game due to an illness. Markison found a loose puck at the left circle and beat Tristan Jarry under the glove to tie the game at 1-1.
The two teams went into the third period tied at that score, with the Sound Tigers 12-1-0-0 when leading after two periods. They made it lucky 13 on Saturday night, with Carter Verhaeghe converting on a 2-on-1 with Bracken Kearns. Mike Halmo dished to Kearns who found Verhaeghe and the rookie ripped a shot over Jarry and gave Bridgeport a 2-1 lead.
Halmo increased Bridgeport’s lead on the power play, getting his 15th of the year on the power play. James Wright threw a puck towards the net and Halmo deflected it through the five-hole of Jarry to make it 3-1. For Wright, it was his fifth straight game with a point, notching a goal and four assists over that span.
The Penguins got one back on the power play with three minutes remaining, as Mouillierat beat his former teammate off a faceoff. Carter Rowney got the only assist on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s second power play goal of the game.
Bridgeport held on in the final minutes, but not without a couple of close calls. The closest came off the stick of Rowney, who had a wide-open net, but somehow Williams got a skate on it to keep the Sound Tigers in front.
Williams finished the game with 30 saves in his first road win since November 21. The Penguins went 2-for-6 on the power play while Bridgeport went 1-for-5.
The two teams go at it again tomorrow night at 5:00 p.m. Webster Bank Arena will be holding a St. Paddy’s Happy Hour from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the Limerick Pub.
Verhaeghe – Kearns – Halmo
Wright – Quine – Collberg
Vaive – Holmstrom – Florek
Gomes – Jones – Markison
Czuczman – Carkner
Lafranchise – Cullity
Finn – Graham