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The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (9-12-3-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, outlasted the Utica Comets (13-8-1-1) in a thrilling, back-and-forth battle on Friday night, earning a 5-4 shootout win at the Adirondack Bank Center.
Oliver Wahlstrom scored the only goal in a three-round shootout, while Matt Lorito (1g, 1a), Mason Jobst (2a) and Sebastian Aho (2a) each logged a multi-point performance. Lorito’s goal was his third in as many games (his second three-game goal streak this season) and Jared Coreau finished the night with 27 saves on 31 shots.
It was the first time Bridgeport has netted five goals in a game this season, which helped the club win for the fifth time in the last six contests.
Both teams traded a tally in the opening 20 minutes, including Lorito’s team-best seventh goal of the season at the 18:28 mark. It came less than three minutes after Utica struck first when Guillaume Brisebois slapped home a one-timer immediately after a faceoff win, which beat Coreau’s reaching glove at 16:00. Lorito answered from the doorstep following an effective hit by Colin McDonald against the right half-boards.
Nick Schilkey put the Sound Tigers on top for the first time at 2:52 of the middle frame, scoring his fourth goal of the season in transition. Mason Jobst steered a lead pass to Schilkey in the neutral zone, who skated past Mitch Eliot on the left wing and beat Zane McIntyre with a forehand shot at the back post.
Jonah Gadjovich quickly responded to tie the game at 2-2 with a one-time blast on the power play. With Kyle Burroughs in the box for interference, Olli Juolevi guided a cross-ice pass to Gadjovich at the top of the right circle, where he wired a one-time shot past Coreau for his fifth goal of the season. It was the only power-play marker of the night on 10 combined chances. The Sound Tigers went 0-for-6.
The contest remained tied until 12:15 of the second period when Grant Hutton converted on a highlight-reel effort to make it 3-2. Jobst kept his head up and filtered a diagonal pass to the right wing where Hutton closed in, deked forehand-to-backhand, and flipped a top shelf shot over McIntyre’s blocker for his second of the year.
As the pendulum continued to swing, Justin Bailey knotted the game at 3-3 with his seventh of the season late in the period. Carter Camper handed the puck to Bailey up top, where he turned on the jets and wheeled around Bridgeport’s defense before burying a forehand shot past Coreau’s blocker at the 19:08 mark.
The Sound Tigers controlled the majority of the third period, outshooting the Comets 15-9 in a wild, fast-paced frame. However, each team traded just one goal to force overtime for the fifth straight meeting between the two clubs, dating back to Dec. 1, 2017. Bellows cut towards the net at the 6:53 mark and capitalized on a beautiful opportunity in front for his third goal in the last four games. The advantage was short lived as Reid Boucher sniped home his league-leading 16th goal of the season just 52 seconds later.
Following a dramatic overtime period that saw eight combined shots, but also eight fascinating saves between Coreau and McIntyre, the Sound Tigers finished the job in a shootout for their first win against a North Division opponent this season.
Bridgeport outshot Utica 41-31 – good for its second most shots in a game this season.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers conclude a three-game road trip tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Syracuse Crunch. 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.