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Simon Holmstrom scored twice on Saturday night to lead the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (19-27-5-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, to a 3-2 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (25-20-3-5) at Webster Bank Arena.
It was Holmstrom’s first multi-goal performance in the AHL and gave him four goals in his last four games. Another first-round draft pick, Oliver Wahlstrom, also scored his sixth goal of the season, while Jared Coreau (10-12-1) made 34 saves between the pipes. Coreau has won five of his last six appearances.
The victory pushed Bridgeport’s unbeaten in regulation streak to four games (3-0-1-0) and was the Sound Tigers’ third consecutive win against the Penguins.
The Sound Tigers pressured Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s back line and goaltender Casey DeSmith right from the get-go and nearly scored in the first three minutes when Matt Lorito hammered a one-timer on target, but DeSmith snagged it from the air. Instead, Wahlstrom opened the scoring at the 17:42 mark with an impressive wrist shot on a two-on-one rush. Coreau denied Sam Miletic from the doorstep and drew a delayed penalty in the process before Grant Hutton sprung Wahlstrom the other way. Wahlstrom carried the puck down the left wing and beat DeSmith with a shot inside the circle to make it 1-0.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton answered with two goals in a span of 6:27 during the second period to take its first lead. Jamie Devane cleaned up a rebound at the 10:08 mark to beat Coreau for the first time and Joe Blandisi followed with his sixth goal of the season on a power play. With Hutton in the box for hooking, Zach Trotman drove a slap shot through traffic and off Coreau’s pads, and Blandisi capitalized on the rebound at 16:35.
Holmstrom took over and pulled the Sound Tigers back ahead with consecutive goals beginning at 17:59 of the second period. Robert Carpenter collected Hutton’s pass in the left corner and fed Holmstrom near the faceoff dot, where he turned and filtered a shot into the top left corner of the net to make it 2-2.
The eventual game-winner came at 9:38 of the third period when Holmstrom drilled home a loose puck at the doorstep for his seventh goal of the year. Mason Jobst created the opportunity with a nifty move at the hash marks and forehand shot into the pads of DeSmith. The rebound popped free and Steve Bernier jammed away before Holmstrom made it 3-2.
Holmstrom nearly earned his first professional hat trick in the final minute, racing towards a loose puck in the neutral zone with DeSmith pulled for an extra attacker. However, the Penguins got back to break up the rush.
Bridgeport finished the game 1-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. DeSmith (17-14-2) made 25 saves on 28 shots.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to action on Monday with a President's Day matchup against the Providence Bruins at Dunkin' Donuts Center (3:05 p.m.) Fans can follow all of the live action of the Sound Tigers Radio Networkand AHLTV, beginning with the pregame show at 2:45 p.m. ET.
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.