BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (33-18-1-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, bounced back from an early two-goal deficit on Saturday, but allowed two more in a span of 23 seconds in the third period and suffered a 4-3 loss to the Providence Bruins (32-14-5-4) at Webster Bank Arena.
Josh Ho-Sang (one goal, one assist) and Michael Dal Colle (one goal, one assist) each tallied multiple points, but it wasn’t enough in Bridgeport’s second straight setback. It was the first time the Sound Tigers have lost back-to-back games in regulation since December 30, 2016 – January 1, 2017.
Tanner Fritz also found the back of the net, extending his point streak at home to six games (four goals, six assists).
Providence opened the scoring less than four minutes into the game courtesy of Chris Porter’s third tally of the season. Rob O’Gara began the play from the blue line when he wristed a shot on goal, which was initially saved but not held by Eamon McAdam. Porter followed it up by crashing the net and jamming at the puck before sliding it between McAdam’s leg pads at the 3:55 mark.
The Bruins doubled their lead on a power-play goal from Jake DeBrusk at 12:55 of the first. With Kane Lafranchise in the box for holding, Tommy Cross controlled the puck in the offensive zone and forced a pass to DeBrusk in the left circle. From there, the rookie winger wristed a top-shelf shot that beat McAdam’s glove for his 12th goal of the season.
The Sound Tigers cut their deficit in half with their own power-play tally at 3:23 of the middle frame. With O’Gara in the box for cross-checking, Andrew Rowe brushed a pass to Ryan Pulock at the top of the left circle, where the third-year defenseman hammered the puck on net. That chance was tipped by Fritz past Malcolm Subban for his 15th goal of the season.
Bridgeport tied the game at 2-2 when Ho-Sang delivered his fourth goal in five games. Kyle Burroughs cleared out space and nudged a pass ahead to Ho-sang, who proceeded to travel down the right-side boards. The dynamic rookie finished it off by cutting through the circle and snapping a sharp-angle shot low on Subban. It was Ho-Sang’s 10th tally of the season overall at 12:12 of the second.
The Sound Tigers gathered their only lead of the game at 5:40 of the third period on a delayed penalty. After drawing a delayed tripping minor, Ho-Sang fed the puck to Josh Winquist on the left side, where the latter quickly forced a pass to Dal Colle in the slot. There, Dal Colle turned and slapped a one-timer past Subban’s glove for his 11th pro goal.
Providence answered and sealed their first win at Webster Bank Arena this season when the visitors scored twice in a span of 23 seconds. The first goal came courtesy of Jordan Szwarz, who capitalized on a rebound at the left post following a drive by O’Gara at the 10:22 mark. The second came from the Bruins’ captain, Cross, during an odd-man rush at 10:45. Szwarz collected a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated ahead, creating a 3-on-1 opportunity in which he dropped a pass for Cross, who fired it home from the left circle. It was his 10th goal of the season.
The Sound Tigers pulled McAdam with just over a minute remaining, but despite several key chances during a late push, they couldn't beat Subban.
Both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Bridgeport outshot Providence, 37-24. McAdam (8-3-0) made 20 saves in the loss, while Subban (8-11-5) turned back 34 shots in the win.
The Sound Tigers are now 5-3-0-0 against the Bruins this season.