Andrew Ladd scored twice and Kieffer Bellows extended his goal streak to four straight games on Wednesday, as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (11-15-3-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, earned a 3-2 win against the Syracuse Crunch (15-11-2-0) at Webster Bank Arena.
Travis St. Denis added two assists and Jared Coreau (4-7-1) made 18 saves in Bridgeport’s first win against Syracuse this season (1-2-0-0).
The opening period flew by with a flurry of offensive opportunities for both teams, but it was Syracuse that struck first in the final five minutes. Gemel Smith collected a loose puck during a net-front scramble and forced a shot past Jared Coreau’s left pad for his 10th goal of the year at the 15:58 mark.
Ladd responded with just over eight minutes gone in the second period and netted his sixth goal of the season to tie the game. Arnaud Durandeau entered the zone by charging down the left wing and Ladd cashed in with a forehand shot just inside the right post, beat Spencer Martin’s blocker.
Dennis Yan put the Crunch back on top just 1:23 into the third as Dominic Masin dragged the puck into open space to set up a clean look from the slot. Masin got one Sound Tigers defensemen to slide by before he handed the puck to Yan, who deposited his sixth goal of the season.
Bridgeport’s hottest player over the last nine games, Bellows knotted the contest at 2-2 about four and a half minutes later with his team-leading eighth tally. Colin McDonald guided a sharp-angle shot on net that was turned aside, but Bellows got to the big second chance and netted his seventh goal in nine games at 5:43.
Towards the late stages of regulation, the Sound Tigers earned their first lead thanks to Ladd’s second of the night and his seventh of the season. St. Denis skated below the goal line and sent a pass to the doorstep, and with a great screen on Martin, Ladd pushed it home for his team-leading third game-winner this year.
A flurry of chances came from Syracuse in the final seconds, but the Sound Tigers held on to seal their sixth win at home (6-6-1-1). Bridgeport finished the night 0-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill, while outshooting Syracuse 41-20.
The contest also included one tilt when Jeff Kubiak and Ross Colton dropped the gloves at 3:45 of the second period.