HERSHEY, PA - Kieffer Bellows scored for the third straight game in his 100th professional contest on Saturday, but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (10-15-3-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 5-2 loss to the Hershey Bears (13-9-2-3) at Giant Center.
Andrew Ladd also collected his fifth goal of the season and Jeff Kubiak had two assists. The loss dropped Bridgeport to 1-1-0-0 against Hershey this season.
Brian Pinho, who also skated in his 100th pro game on Saturday, opened the scoring just 1:49 into the first period with his fourth goal of the year. He charged ahead and completed a give-and-go with Axel Jonsson-Fjallby down the left wing before deflecting the return pass from the doorstep behind goaltender Jakub Skarek.
Bellows answered with his sixth goal in eight games at the 7:48 mark to tie the game at 1-1. Bellows stickhandled below the Bears’ goal line and sent a pass to the crease, where it redirected off of a Hershey defenseman who was battling in front with Colin McDonald. Kyle Burroughs and Kubiak each earned a helper.
Bears leading scorer Mike Sgarbossa got a fortunate bounce at 11:44 to put Hershey back on top with his 10th goal of the year. Sgarbossa entered the Sound Tigers’ zone and attempted to set up Garrett Pilon on the right side, but his pass redirected off of Seth Helgeson’s reaching stick and made its way past Skarek.
Just 54 seconds later, Philippe Maillet made it 3-1 with a point-blank shot in front of Skarek. Liam O’Brien gained possession behind the goal line, took it to the side of Bridgeport’s net and guided a pass to Maillet for a one-time goal. It was Maillet’s fourth of the season at 12:38.
Ladd kept the Sound Tigers close with his fifth goal of the season just 86 seconds into the second period. Kubiak set up Parker Wotherspoon at the left point where he quickly filtered a shot to the net that Ladd deflected in.
However, the Bears ended the frame with two goals 14 seconds apart to pull ahead 5-2. Former Islander Matt Moulson registered a power-play goal at the 5:59 mark, cleaning up Sgarbossa’s initial shot that hit the back of Helgeson, before O’Brien’s sixth of the year came shortly after.
The Sound Tigers had five power-play opportunities in the third period, including a couple of lengthy 5-on-3 chances, but couldn’t solve goaltender Vitek Vanecek again. In fact, Bridgeport outshot Hershey 21-8 in the final two periods.
The Sound Tigers finished the evening 0-for-6 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the kill. Bridgeport outshot Hershey 26-18 overall.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. puck drop 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.
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