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The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4-5-1-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, launched a season-high 42 shots and scored twice on the power play in a 3-2 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds (7-0-0-2) at MassMutual Center on Friday.
Devon Toews and Steve Bernier both beat Sam Montembeault in an otherwise marvelous night for the Thunderbirds goaltender. Jacob MacDonald (two assists) and Patrick Bajkov (two assists) paced the offense for Springfield, while Josh Ho-Sang and Travis St. Denis each recorded a pair of helpers for Bridgeport. Four of the five combined goals came on the man advantage.
It was the Sound Tigers' seventh straight setback in Springfield dating back to the 2016-17 campaign.
Former Sound Tiger Matt Mangene put the T-Birds on top 1-0 with his first goal of the season, on the power play, at 12:16 of the opening frame. With just two seconds left on an interference minor to Stephen Gionta, MacDonald swung the puck over from the right wing to the top of the left circle, where Mangene loaded and fired a one-time slap shot past Jeremy Smith's glove.
Toews responded with a power-play tally of his own at 7:48 of the second period in the closing stages of a 5-on-3 advantage. With Thompson in the box for interference and Jake Horton off for tripping, Ho-Sang fed a saucer pass to the low slot where Toews lifted a quick shot over Montembeault's right shoulder for his second goal of the season. St. Denis also collected an assist on the play.
Less than six minutes later, Springfield answered with yet another power-play goal, this time from Thompson for his team-best sixth tally of the year. Toews was whistled for interference at the 13:02 mark and while he was trapped in the box, MacDonald stepped to the right circle and wristed a shot on target. Smith made the initial save, deflecting the puck waist high, but Thompson batted it out of the air and across the goal line to make it 2-1 at 13:45.
Ludwig Bystrom put the T-Birds up by two just 27 seconds into the third period with the only even-strength goal of the night. Bobby Farnham forced a pass to Bystrom on the right wing and the defenseman skated to the circle before sniping a quick snap shot over Smith's outstretched glove. It found the top right corner of the cage for Bystrom's fourth of the season.
Bernier gave the Sound Tigers hope and cut the deficit to one when he capped the scoring at 6:47 of the third period. Following a penalty to Jayce Hawryluk for cross-checking, Ho-Sang filtered a cross-ice pass to St. Denis in the left circle, setting up a passing lane to the doorstep. St. Denis sent it in front and Bernier redirected home his team-leading sixth goal of the season, and his team-best fourth goal on the man advantage.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 2-for-7 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill. Smith (1-2-1) stopped 19 of the 22 shots he faced, while Montembeault (5-0-0) stayed perfect with an impressive 40-save effort.
The game included one fight at 9:16 of the second period when Ben Holmstrom and Ian McCoshen dropped the gloves following Holmstrom's heavy hit in the T-Birds zone.
Next time Out: The Sound Tigers rematch the Thunderbirds to complete their home-and-home series tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. puck drop at Webster Bank Arena. It will be their second of 10 meetings this season. Fans can follow all of the live action via AHLTV and the Sound Tigers Radio Network, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
Peppa Pig and the PJ Masks: The Sound Tigers are excited to welcome Peppa Pig and the PJ Masks to Webster Bank Arena this Sunday! The cheeky Peppa Pig and her brother George, from the hit Nickelodeon television show Peppa Pig, will join everyone's favorite heroes from the hit Disney Junior show PJ Masks on the concourse beginning at 2 p.m. Each character will meet fans and take pictures.
All fans are also encouraged to take advantage of a special ticket package that offers significant value for this added promotional event, including access to the game, a toy mask to wear, an activity packet, a pack of crayons, and entry to a pre-game meet-and-greet with Peppa Pig, George and the PJ Masks beginning a full hour earlier at 1 p.m. Additional meet and greets will be available during the game for regular ticket holders. For tickets or more information, please contact the Sound Tigers group sales hotline at 203-345-2300 ext. 7.
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].