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The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (13-18-4-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, opened the new year with a 3-1 setback to the Binghamton Devils (13-17-4-0) at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday. It was their fourth straight loss on the road.
Colin McDonald scored his first goal of the season to give Bridgeport the lead heading into the final period, but the Devils collected three unanswered goals in the third period to end it. It was just the second time all season that the Sound Tigers played without their leading scorer, Sebastian Aho, who was recalled by the Islanders earlier in the day. Aho was also named to his third consecutive AHL All-Star Classic on Friday, becoming Bridgeport’s first player to be selected three times.
Binghamton outshot the Sound Tigers 10-3 in the opening period, but rookie goaltender Jakub Skarek was strong with his stops and rebound control. Many of the Devils’ chances got through cleanly and were recorded on the man advantage, as Binghamton had three power plays in the first.
The Sound Tigers came out confident in the middle frame and scored early with McDonald’s first goal of the season. Kieffer Bellows, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for December, hustled down the right wing and threw a shot on target that Cory Schneider kicked back with his pad. The rebound skipped right to McDonald, who converted a backhander to make it 1-0 at the 1:31 mark. Otto Koivula also had an assist.
Bridgeport held its narrow advantage through the second intermission and into the opening stages of the third period before Binghamton scored three straight goals to steal the victory. The first two came on the power play as two-time AHL All-Star Ben Street tied the game with his team-leading 13th goal of the season at 5:09. Colton White guided a pass to Street in the right circle, where he looked for some daylight and fired a perfectly-placed wrist shot off the top left corner of the net and in. The tally came just 11 seconds after Koivula was called for hooking.
Fabian Zetterlund followed less than five minutes later with his seventh goal of the season, capitalizing on McDonald’s roughing penalty at 8:22. Shortly after a faceoff win, Dakota Mermis bumped the puck to Zetterlund above the left circle, where he went short side on Skarek to give Binghamton the lead.
Mikahil Maltsev sealed the Devils’ victory with his third goal of the year at 13:39 of the final frame. Chris Connor worked the puck behind the net and Joey Anderson fed it out in front for Maltsev’s one-timer.
Skarek was pulled for an extra attacker with 3:10 left in regulation, but the Sound Tigers couldn’t beat Schneider again.
Bridgeport finished the game 0-for-5 on the power play and 7-for-9 on the penalty kill. Skarek (3-6-1) made 28 saves, while Schneider (3-4-0) turned aside 16 chances.
The Devils outshot the Sound Tigers 31-17.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers continue their season-long, five-game road trip tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Hershey Bears at Giant Center. Fans can follow all of the live action via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
Sound Tigers season tickets and flex plans are on sale now for the 2019-20 campaign, offering the greatest savings and ultimate flexibility of all ticket packages. Pick between a full-season, 20-game, or 10-game plan and you'll also be entitled to exclusive benefits, including the ticket holder exchange policy. Lock in your seats today by contacting Brad Dworin at 203-345-4813 or via [email protected].
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.