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Josh Ho-Sang scored once and added an assist on Wednesday as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (16-27-4-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, fell to the Syracuse Crunch (21-21-3-3) in regulation, 3-2, at Webster Bank Arena.
Cole Bardreau also collected his second goal in four games during the Sound Tigers’ annual Winter Fun 101 school-day event, in which 3,899 fans – mostly local school groups and youth organizations – packed their way into Webster Bank Arena.
The Sound Tigers established a pair of one-goal leads throughout the day, but Crunch forward Alex Volkov scored the eventual game-winner past the 13-minute mark of the third period. It was Bridgeport’s third straight setback at home.
The 10:30 a.m. contest began with an equal amount of opportunities each way and shots favored the home team 15-10 in the first period. Bridgeport nearly took the lead at the 9:19 mark when Mason Jobst got loose on a breakaway and was hauled down from behind, setting the stage for his first professional penalty shot. The rookie forward was poised on the ensuing attempt, but his forehand wrist shot went off of Scott Wedgewood’s glove and out.
Instead, Bardreau scored his second goal of the season about nine minutes later to put Bridgeport out front 1-0. Ho-Sang entered the zone on the left wing and cut back above the circle before filtering a tape-to-tape pass across for Bardreau. It was perfectly placed and allowed Bardreau to move in through the right circle and beat Wedgewood’s five hole at 17:51.
The score stayed the same heading into the intermission, but Syracuse came out strong in the second and tied the game just 92 seconds into the period. Peter Abbandonato led a two-on-one rush into the Sound Tigers’ zone before firing a laser past Christopher Gibson for his third goal of the season and his first tally since Oct. 12 against Cleveland.
The Sound Tigers got their first major chance in the second period thanks to a high-sticking double minor against Logan Roe at the 7:05 mark. Bridgeport also received an additional two minutes near the end of that power play due to a holding penalty, but the man advantage couldn’t come through. It finished the afternoon 0-for-7.
The Sound Tigers broke through again at 16:25 of the middle frame when Ho-Sang converted on a delayed penalty. Sebastian Aho and Otto Koivula teamed up to find Ho-Sang below the goal line, where he immediately tried to zip a centering pass to Travis St. Denis between the circles. His feed was broken up and deflected past Wedgewood for a fortunate bounce that made it 2-1. It was Ho-Sang’s second goal in as many games, while Aho earned his team-leading 21st assist and 23rd point.
A golden opportunity for the Sound Tigers nearly eight minutes into the third period instead proved fortunate for the Crunch, who tied it back up at the 7:57 mark. Bridgeport had several premium chances in front that Wedgewood wouldn’t let through, and Danick Martel was sprung on a break seconds later. He beat Gibson’s glove to tie the game for the second time.
Volkov put the Crunch on top for good with his sixth goal of the season at 13:27. He muscled his way to the front of the net and forced the puck through a scramble to make it 3-2.
The Sound Tigers had a late power play and also pulled Gibson for a 6-on-4 advantage in the final two minutes, but it wasn’t enough. Gibson (5-6-3) made 33 saves on 36 shots, while Wedgewood (9-6-1) turned aside 30 of 32.
The two teams went a combined 0-12 on the man advantage.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to action on Saturday night with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Providence Bruins at Webster Bank Arena. It's 90's Night, featuring a Seinfeld-themed t-shirt giveaway to the first 1,500 fans courtesy of the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Fans can follow all of the live action of the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pregame show at 7 p.m. ET.
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]. Follow the action all season long via www.soundtigers.com or by “liking” the Sound Tigers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.