Offense Stays Hot in 5-4 Overtime Win Over BruinsNov 10, 2018
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (8-5-1-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, won their fourth straight game and sixth in a row at home on Saturday with a 5-4 overtime victory against the Providence Bruins (4-7-2-0) at Webster Bank Arena.
Chris Bourque collected his 700th AHL point with an assist on the opening goal and Travis St. Denis netted the game-winner in the extra frame, as the Sound Tigers' offense scored at least five goals for the fourth straight game – a new franchise record. The team has earned a combined 25 goals over that span, also a team record.
Five different players had a multi-point game for Bridgeport, including Bourque (one goal, one assist), St. Denis (one goal, one assist) and Devon Toews (one goal, one assist), while Jeremy Smith (4-2-1-0) made 23 saves on 27 shots en route to his third win in as many starts for the Sound Tigers.
Bridgeport began the scoring less than three minutes into the first period with a power-play goal from Toews, his fourth of the season overall. After Ryan Fitzgerald took an interference penalty during the opening shift, Tanner Fritz snapped a shot that bounced off the end wall and out to Toews, where he corralled it and wristed the puck towards the net. The quick shot stayed on the ice and hit Cody Goloubef's skate before angling its way through Zane McIntyre's five-hole at 2:54.
The goal also extended Toews' point streak to five games (seven points) and Bourque notched his 700th AHL point with the secondary helper.
Providence tied the game on the power play less than eight minutes later after Ryan Bourque took a cross-checking penalty at 9:47. On the man advantage, Colby Cave sent a pass to the front of the net where it hit Fitzgerald's skate and bounced onto the tape of Jan Kovar, who made no mistake in tapping home his fourth of the year at 10:33.
The Sound Tigers regained the lead at 11:58 of the period when Kieffer Bellows netted his fifth goal of the season. Steve Bernier and Fritz played catch below the goal line before Bernier deflected the puck into the air and found Bellows alone at the top of the crease. He collected the feed off of his skate and smoothly backhanded the puck home for his fourth goal in the last three games. Bellows has scored in all three of those contests.
Less than five minutes into the middle frame, Bourque tallied career point No. 701 when he beat McIntyre to make it a 3-1 advantage. Otto Koivula entered the zone and found St. Denis on a dump-in before the puck was centered to Bourque, who charged at the net and blasted a one-timer past McIntyre for his fourth of the season at 4:28. It also marked the 13th straight period that Bridgeport scored at least one goal, dating back to Nov. 2 at Springfield.
However, Anton Blidh brought Providence's deficit back to one goal when he hunted the puck down in the corner, walked up to the right hash marks, and beat Smith over his glove with a wrist shot. It was Blidh's third goal of the season, which came unassisted.
Bridgeport extended its lead to 4-2 at 15:25 of the second period courtesy of Kyle Burroughs' first of the year. Ryan Bourque left a drop pass for Jeff Kubiak on the right wing, who stopped and hit Burroughs with a pass in the slot. Burroughs proceeded to wire a wrist shot past McIntyre, off the bar and in, before tossing the monkey off his back in celebration of his first point of the season.
While the Sound Tigers carried the bulk of possession in the opening minutes of the third period, the P-Bruins made it 4-3 at 3:49 from Jakub Zboril's stick. Zach Senyshyn found open-ice at the top of the slot and fed Zboril at the blue line, whose seeing-eye one-timer found twine behind Smith for his second goal of the season.
Shortly afterwards, both teams went back-and-forth, trading multiple power-play opportunities. First, Trent Frederic took back-to-back penalties for the Bruins, but despite good puck movement and scoring chances, the Sound Tigers were unable to capitalize on either of the man advantages.
Josh Ho-Sang and Toews then took consecutive penalties to put Providence on a 5-on-3. During the two-man advantage, Ryan Donato scored his first AHL goal when his wrist shot from the right circle beat Smith's glove to tie the game at 4-4 at 10:26.
The penalties didn't stop there. At 16:07, Bernier was handed a five-minute major and game misconduct for a high hit to Frederic in Providence's zone. Despite the Bruins' elongated power play, Smith and the Sound Tigers' penalty kill stood tall and killed off the penalty through both regulation and the first 67 seconds of overtime.
That successful penalty kill led to offensive momentum for Bridgeport, which allowed St. Denis to capitalize for the winner. Koivula, fresh out of the box after serving Bernier's penalty, made an outlet pass to spring St. Denis on a breakaway. While his initial attempt was stopped by McIntyre's glove, both he and Toews poked away at the doorstep until St. Denis finally forced the puck past the goal line.
Although referee Liam Sewell made an emphatic call for a goal, the play was reviewed and eventually confirmed after some debate from the chaotic moment in the crease.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 1-for-8 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill.
Veteran's Day Hockey: The Sound Tigers will host the first-place Charlotte Checkers tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. with several promotions on tap for Veteran's Day. All veterans and active duty personnel will receive a free ticket by visiting the Webster Bank Arena Click It Or Ticket Box Office and showing a valid military ID. In addition, receive a free set of Sound Tigers trading cards, which include notable New York Islanders draft picks and other top prospects sponsored by IBEW Local 488. Fifty-cent chicken wings and $5 16 oz. beers (drafts and cans) are available at the Masons Bar, located on the upper concourse level. Reserve your seats now!
Packed Promotional Lineup: The Sound Tigers will boast one of their most extensive and wide-ranging promotional schedules ever for the 2018-19 season. The fan-friendly calendar includes the return of popular themes like Hockey and Hops (Nov. 23 and Mar. 17), Military Appreciation (Jan. 12), Star Wars Night (Jan. 19) and Princess Night (Mar. 30). Regional hockey fans will be elated for the addition of Hockey Weekend in Connecticut (Feb. 23-24), while other new headliners include Holiday Gift Weekend (Dec. 15-16) and a revamped Teddy Bear Toss (Nov. 23).
For additional details or to reserve a group outing for any giveaway or theme night, please call the Sound Tigers' front office at (203) 345-2300 ext 7.
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]