The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (7-11-3-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, had their Thanksgiving dinner a little early on Wednesday, downing the Springfield Thunderbirds (12-10-0-0) in a 3-2 victory at MassMutual Center.
Arnaud Durandeau scored for the second straight game and Kieffer Bellows had two points (1g, 1a), while Christopher Gibson (5-3-3) made 37 saves in Bridgeport’s third straight win. Mason Jobst also scored on goaltender Samuel Montembeault, who made his AHL season debut after being loaned by the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
Jobst put the Sound Tigers out front 1-0 with the only goal of the first period, scoring for the second time in three games at the 12:41 mark. John Stevens corralled the puck behind Springfield’s net and brought it in front to create the opportunity. As he opened up, Montembeault committed to the right post and Stevens guided a pass through the crease, where Jobst capitalized from a knee for his second goal of the season. Bellows was credited with the secondary assist for his first point since Oct. 19.
A shorthanded goal from Henrik Borgstrom tied the contest at 8:32 of the second period, his sixth goal of the season and Springfield’s sixth a man down. Travis St. Denis sent a pass to Sebastian Aho at the blue line, but it got behind the defenseman and Borgstrom raced onto it. He charged the other way and scored short side on Gibson to make it 1-1.
The Sound Tigers answered just 26 seconds later when Bellows scored his second goal of the season to put Bridgeport back on top. Parker Wotherspoon and Ryan Bourque teamed up to create a chance for Bellows at the doorstep, where he scored on the forehand. However, Owen Tippett ripped home a power-play goal at the 11:27 mark to make it 2-2. Tippett’s team-leading ninth goal of the season was converted on a wrist shot from the left circle.
Springfield outshot Bridgeport 14-7 in the third period, but only Durandeau found the back of the cage with the eventual game winner at 6:47. Matt Lorito led a rush in transition and advanced the puck to Colin McDonald down the right wing, where he ripped a shot off of Montembeault’s pads for a rebound. Durandeau was the beneficiary with his fourth goal in six games.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-2 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill. The contest included one fight when St. Denis and Matt Mangene dropped the gloves at 8:31 of the first period.