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The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2-2-1-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, clawed back late in regulation and sealed their first home win of the season in overtime with a 4-3 victory against the Providence Bruins (1-4-1-0) at Webster Bank Arena on Friday.
Mike Sislo scored his second goal of the season 32 seconds into the extra frame, while Parker Wotherspoon's first of the year tied the game with less than 41 seconds left in regulation. Christopher Gibson (1-2-0) made 30 of 33 saves between the pipes for his first win of 2018-19.
In addition, Michael Dal Colle and Yannick Rathgeb each scored once and added an assist. Dal Colle now leads the team with seven points (two goals, five assists) in five games, while Rathgeb was impressive in his Sound Tigers debut. Devon Toews added two assists for Bridgeport.
For the third time in four games, the Sound Tigers lit the lamp first just 3:15 into the contest. Rathgeb's initial shot was blocked by a Bruin, but it popped out to Toews at the blue line. His attempt from the point stayed flat on the ice and was deflected home by Dal Colle for his second of the season. It squeezed through the wickets of Providence goalie Dan Vladar.
With the assist, Toews extended his point streak to four games (four assists).
The lead didn't last long as Colby Cave tied the game just over four minutes later. After Josh Ho-Sang was unable to tuck home a bouncing puck on a partial breakaway, the Sound Tigers subsequently had the puck stripped at their own blue line by Cave. He turned on the jets, found space all alone and went from his backhand to his forehand to beat Gibson's blocker for his third goal of the season at 7:20. With the unassisted tally, Cave also extends his point streak to four games.
The P-Bruins kept the pressure on Bridgeport as Cameron Hughes hit the crossbar on the ensuing shift. However, Jakub Zboril took a delay of game penalty shortly afterwards to put Bridgeport on the power play.
While there was no scoring on the man-advantage, the top unit showcased crisp passing, particularly between the trio of Ho-Sang, Sebastian Aho and Travis St. Denis. The closest they came was in the form of St. Denis just nicking the top of the crossbar on a cross-ice, one-time feed from Ho-Sang.
Providence grabbed the lead for the first time at 18:15 of the second period to move ahead 2-1. After Hughes evaded two defensemen as he walked into the zone, Martin Bakos found Zboril at the point, who ripped a slap shot into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
Gibson stopped all but one of the Bruins' 15 shots directed his way in the second period, while the Sound Tigers managed to muster seven shots on Vladar.
It only took 42 seconds into the third period for the Sound Tigers to even the score at 2-2. Following two late penalties from both sides, Rathgeb took advantage of a more spacious ice surface at 4-on-4 play, as he walked into the zone and ripped a snapshot off the bar and in. It was Rathgeb's first AHL goal in his debut.
The tally gave Bridgeport life, but just as recent games have gone, Providence scored to take the lead with 2:11 left in regulation. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson forced a turnover in the Sound Tigers' zone and fed Cave for his second goal of the game.
In desperation mode, head coach Brent Thompson pulled Gibson in the final 70 seconds and with the extra skater, Wotherspoon found the back of the net to tie the game again. On the 6-on-5 opportunity, Chris Bourque dished the puck to Wotherspoon, whose one-timer painted a bullseye behind Vladar's glove.
Bridgeport carried that swing of momentum into the overtime and with just 32 seconds gone in the extra period, Fritz flew down the right wing and set up a 2-on-1. He sent the puck to the crease and after it was kicked back by Vladar, Sislo netted the rebound for his second tally in as many games.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-6 on the power play, while the Bruins went 0-for-3. Bridgeport outshot Providence 34-33.
Next time out: The Sound Tigers will travel down I-95 to the Dunkin' Donuts Center and rematch the Bruins at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow. 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.
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]