BEARS 5, SOUND TIGERS 1
Mike Halmo scored his 21st goal of the season, but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers fell to the Hershey Bears 5-1 on Friday night at Giant Center.
Just two shifts into his Sound Tigers career, Marc-André Cliche was tagged for a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding. Bridgeport was forced to play down a man for the full five minutes and Hershey took advantage a couple of times.
First Chandler Stephenson beat Stephon Williams over the glove on a rush just over two minutes into the major. Stephenson brought the puck into the offensive zone after receiving a pass from former Sound Tiger Aaron Ness and shot it off the crossbar and in, notching his sixth goal of the season.
A minute and a half later, the Bears made it two on the same power play, with Ness getting the goal this time around. Madison Bowey poked the puck out to the point, where Ness wired a slap shot over the glove of Williams to make it 2-0. Ness’ sixth of the year was his first point against his former team, a team which he recorded 123 points with over four seasons.
The Bears continued their strong special teams play in the second period, this time while short-handed. Garrett Mitchell took the puck all by himself, making a move between his legs before powering to the net and beating Williams a man down to make it 3-0. The goal marked the ninth time this season Bridgeport has allowed a short-handed tally.
Bridgeport had a glorious opportunity to get at least one goal back when they were awarded a 5-on-3 power play for the full two minutes. The Sound Tigers could not convert on the man advantage, as Hershey netminder Dan Ellis kept them off the board.
Hershey scored twice more in the third period, with Jakub Vrana slamming home a pass from Ness to make it 4-0, then Liam O’Brien banging home a rebound to make it 5-0.
Halmo broke Ellis’ shutout streak with just 2:51 remaining in the game. The forward took a pass from Tanner Fritz and rocketed a shot home to get Bridgeport on the board, but it was all the Sound Tigers would get.
The power play went 0-for-6 while the penalty kill was 2-for-4. Williams ended the game with 19 saves.
The Sound Tigers stay in Pennsylvania, heading to Allentown tomorrow to face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.
Verhaeghe – Kearns – Wright
Halmo – Quine – Fritz
Florek – Holmstrom – Cliche
Gomes – Jones – Markison
Pelech – Finn
Lafranchise – Burroughs
Wotherspoon – Cullity