SOUND TIGERS 4, DEVILS 2
The Sound Tigers made it five wins in a row on Sunday with a 4-2 victory over the Albany Devils at Webster Bank Arena.
After a low-scoring win the night before, Bridgeport’s offense woke up as four different Sound Tigers came away with at least two points. James Wright led the way with three points on a goal and two assists, while Stephon Williams stood tall in net with 25 saves on 27 Albany shots.
The Devils opened the scoring with 6:46 gone in the opening period after a Sound Tigers turnover in their own end of the rink. Nick Lappin gathered the puck near the left faceoff circle and sent it towards the net where Rod Pelley was able to tip it past Stephon Williams, who appeared to have made the stop.
Two Bridgeport defenders tried their best to tie it up halfway through the first, but couldn’t breakthrough against Ken Appleby. Kane Lafranchise fired a one-timer from the slot but had it sail just over Appleby, while Matt Finn ripped a one-timer of his own from the blue line, which the Devil’s netminder pushed aside with his right blocker.
The chances didn’t stop then for the Sound Tigers as Alan Quine nearly recreated his power play magic from last night when he tipped a rebound just wide of the left post.
Bridgeport controlled play early in the middle frame after starting the period on a power play, and it paid off when Connor Jones put the Sound Tigers on the board when he tied the game at 1-1 with his third goal of the season. 6:22 into the middle frame, Jones flew into the offensive zone and gathered the loose puck on the way to the net. With just the goalie to beat, Jones flicked a wicked backhander up over the glove of Appleby and into the top right corner for the goal.
Albany would not go away and Paul Thompson would capitalize on another Bridgeport offensive zone turnover to give the Devils the lead 2-1. With 16:01 gone in the period, the Devils turned up the pressure on the forecheck and Jim O’Brien corralled the turnover before he found Thompson all alone in the slot. Thompson buried the puck in the bottom right corner for his 12th goal of the season.
Less than a minute into the third period, Quine tied it back up for the Sound Tigers at 2-2. As the seconds ticked away on the power play, Finn found Quine in the slot where the forward would backhand the puck towards the net. The puck ricocheted off the right post, but Quine controlled the rebound and buried it past Appleby. It was Quine’s 15th goal of the season, and second of the weekend, while Finn and Wright each tallied their sixth and 21st assist respectively.
Those three would work together again to give Bridgeport it’s first lead of the night with 12:41 left in the third. On a power play this time, it was Finn who beat the glove of Appleby and find the top corner of the net with a blistering wrister from the right faceoff circle. Quine earned his second point of the night on his 26th assist, and Wright also got his second on another assist.
Wright would add another point to his box score when he doubled the Sound Tigers lead on an empty-net goal with 1:08 remaining in the game. The goal was his 11th goal of the season, and Jones earned his second point of the night with his fourth assist of the year. Bridgeport now has 78 points on the year with a record of 36-23-3-3 in this important run before the playoffs.
The Sound Tigers face divisional foe Portland next game when they travel to Maine to take on the Pirates Wednesday. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.