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Andrew Ladd and Kieffer Bellows both extended goal-scoring streaks on Friday as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (13-16-3-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, earned a 5-1 win against the Hartford Wolf Pack (17-8-2-5) in front of 6,271 fans for Teddy Bear Toss Night at Webster Bank Arena.
Ladd had two goals and has now scored in three straight AHL games, while Bellows collected a goal for the fifth straight home game. Otto Koivula added a trio of assists to become the first Sound Tiger to record a three-point performance this season.
The victory was the Sound Tigers’ largest of the season (four goals) and was their first win against the Wolf Pack (1-1-2-0). Jared Coreau (5-8-1) backstopped the effort with 30 saves on 31 shots. He has now won five of his last seven decisions.
Hartford outshot Bridgeport 9-5 in a frantic first period that saw quick back-and-forth play, but no scoring. The second featured more of the same and also included the game’s only fight when Bobo Carpenter and Darren Raddysh dropped the gloves at the 7:31 mark. It came after Carpenter applied a huge hit on Vincent LoVerde, and Raddysh jumped Carpenter. Raddysh was also given an instigating minor, a 10-minute instigating misconduct, and was escorted to the dressing room to put Bridgeport on the power play.
On the ensuing man advantage, Bellows scored his ninth goal in the last 12 games and his team-leading 10th of the year on a juicy rebound, which sent 1,815 stuffed animals flying over the glass and onto the ice for the annual Teddy Bear Toss event. Colin McDonald and David Quenneville recorded the assists.
The Sound Tigers extended their lead in the final 23 seconds of the middle frame with a beautiful two-on-one rush. Koivula skated in from the left wing and delayed before dishing a pass to Ladd at the back door.
The Wolf Pack were down a man early in the third period thanks to a holding penalty against Nick Jones, but that didn’t stop them from getting on the board with a shorthanded tally. Boo Nieves scored 2:54 into the frame to cut the lead in half and make it 2-1. It was the sixth shorthanded goal the Sound Tigers have allowed this season.
Ladd responded with his second of the night and fifth in his last three AHL games just over three minutes later to make it 3-1. Bridgeport regained its two-goal lead on another two-on-one rush, this time with Josh Ho-Sang leading the way and dishing the puck to Ladd at the back post. It was Ladd’s ninth goal in 20 AHL games this season.
Bridgeport continued to pour it on as the third period progressed. Grant Hutton fired a slap shot from the point that got through for his third goal of the season with a few screens blocking Hartford goaltender Adam Huska at the 9:04 mark. Parker Wotherspoon put the cherry on top at 19:26 with an empty-net goal for his third tally of the season, assisted by Carpenter.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 1-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill. Hartford won in the shots department 31-22.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to action tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Springfield Thunderbirds at Webster Bank Arena. Fans can follow all of the live action via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
Sound Tigers season tickets and flex plans are on sale now for the 2019-20 campaign, offering the greatest savings and ultimate flexibility of all ticket packages. Pick between a full-season, 20-game, or 10-game plan and you'll also be entitled to exclusive benefits, including the ticket holder exchange policy. Lock in your seats today by contacting Brad Dworin at 203-345-4813 or via [email protected].
About the Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Founded in 2001, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Hockey Club is the top minor league affiliate of the New York Islanders. Don't miss your chance to take part in the family fun entertainment happening every home game at Webster Bank Arena. For further information on ticket or sponsorship opportunities, call our office at (203) 345-2300 or e-mail [email protected]. Follow the action all season long via www.soundtigers.com or by “liking” the Sound Tigers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.