Cory Schneider made 21 saves in his first appearance in more than a year on Wednesday, helping the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (3-8-1-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, earn one point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Providence Bruins (12-3-1-0) at Webster Bank Arena.
Schneider (0-0-1) was assigned to Bridgeport on conditioning earlier in the day and played his first game since Mar. 6, 2020 as a member of the New Jersey Devils. It was also his first AHL contest since Feb. 17, 2020 with Binghamton.
Tom Kuhnhackl and A.J. Greer each found the back of the net and the Sound Tigers led by a goal halfway through the third period, but Bruins forward Oskar Steen scored the game-winner at 2:31 of overtime.
It took more than 21 minutes for the Bruins to test the veteran NHL goaltender, as Bridgeport didn’t allow its first shot against until the second period. The Sound Tigers outshot Providence 9-0 in a scoreless opening frame before Kuhnhackl lit the lamp at 5:14 of the second. Parker Wotherspoon set up in the high slot and rifled a shot through traffic that Kuhnhackl deflected past Jeremy Swayman (8-1-0). It pushed Kuhnhackl’s point streak to a season-high four games (two goals, two assists), while Jeff Kubiak also notched his team-leading fifth assist.
Providence drew back even less than five minutes later with Matt Filipe’s second professional goal at the 9:32 mark. Jack Ahcan circled to the slot and shoveled a backhand chance towards the Bridgeport net where Filipe altered its path to make it 1-1.
The game’s only power-play tally put Bridgeport ahead 2-1 when Greer jammed home his first goal of the season at 17:55 of the second period. With Cameron Hughes in the box for boarding, Otto Koivula snapped a hard wrist shot at Swayman’s chest from the right circle, which created a scramble in front of the crease. Greer and Tanner Fritz both positioned themselves well for the rebound and Greer was rewarded with the go-ahead strike.
The Sound Tigers carried that lead into the final nine minutes of regulation, but Alex-Olivier Voyer beat Schneider with another equalizer at 11:09 of the third. Filipe located a bouncing puck between the circles and directed a backhand pass to the left post where Voyer converted.
Kuhnhackl had an opportunity to give Bridgeport its third lead of the afternoon with just over seven minutes remaining but couldn’t capitalize on a penalty shot. Cole Bardreau sprung Kuhnhackl ahead for a breakaway and Urho Vaakanainen illegally held him back. Kuhnhackl went blocker side from the hash marks on the attempt.
In overtime, Steen weaved his way above the left circle and beat Schneider from distance for the 3-2 final.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Bridgeport outshot the Bruins 30-24 and Swayman finished with 28 saves.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers kick off April and return to Webster Bank Arena on Friday for a 1 p.m. puck drop against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Fans can follow all of the live action via AHLTV or the Sound Tigers Radio Network, beginning with the pre-game show at 12:45 p.m.