Bridgeport, CT - Three first-period goals sent the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on their way to a 6-3 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday at Webster Bank Arena.
The Wolf Pack, playing their third game of the weekend, tried to battle back in the final 40 minutes, but were unable to overcome the deficit.
Hartford defensemen Brandon Crawley and Vince Pedrie both scored their first pro goals, and Adam Tambellini had his team-leading fourth of the season, but Mitch Vande Sompel, Tanner Fritz and Michael Dal Colle all had a goal and an assist each for Bridgeport.
“When you go into three-in-threes, you’ve got to make sure you don’t get yourself in penalty trouble,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “We did that, got ourselves on our heels, got them some momentum, and first goals in these three-in-threes are key. I like the fact that we kept pushing and scraping and clawing to keep ourselves in the game. To the players’ credit, they kept pushing until the full end.”
Bridgeport outshot the Wolf Pack 14-5 in the first, and Hartford contributed to its own difficulties by taking three straight penalties.
On the first Sound Tiger power play, rookie Scott Eansor scored his seventh goal in six games on the season at 5:32, giving Bridgeport a lead it would never relinquish. Wolf Pack goaltender Chris Nell (27 saves) stopped a blast by Fritz from the left circle, but Eansor jumped on the rebound and snapped it in from the right side of the slot.
Bridgeport made it 2-0 at the 12:58 mark, on Vande Sompel’s first pro goal. The Wolf Pack’s Neal Pionk had a pass intercepted, and Vande Sompel’s quick shot from high in the slot eluded Nell.
Then, with only 24.8 seconds left in the period and the Wolf Pack’s first power play expiring, Parker Wotherspoon cleared the puck to Fritz coming out of the penalty box and he went off on a breakaway. Fritz put a shot off the post to Nell’s right and into the goal.
The two teams traded goals in the second period, 2:17 apart.
The Wolf Pack got on the board at the 5:17 mark, with Crawley getting his first point as a pro. The 20-year-old defenseman shot from the left point and got it through a screen, putting the puck inside the post to the left of Sound Tiger goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis (22 saves).
Bridgeport restored the two-goal margin, though, at 7:34, on a goal by Dal Colle. Travis St. Denis took a feed from Sebastian Aho and carried down the left side, before passing across the middle to Dal Colle, whose quick shot found its way under Nell’s pads.
The Sound Tigers upped the lead to 5-1 at 9:19 of the third period, as defenseman Kyle Burroughs scored on a rebound. Former Wolf Pack forward Ryan Bourque passed from the left-wing boards to Dal Colle, whose shot was stopped, but Burroughs arrived at the front of the net and flicked the puck past Nell.
Tambellini scored on a power play at 12:20 to cut the margin back to three, with Bourque off for tripping. Joe Whitney sent a pass to Tambellini just below the left faceoff dot, and his shot went perfectly under the crossbar over Gudlevskis’ right shoulder.
The Wolf Pack then pulled Nell with over three minutes to play, but would give up an empty-net goal to Steve Bernier at 17:33. St. Denis sent the puck into the Wolf Pack zone, and Bernier was just able to fight off Hartford’s Steven Fogarty and poke the puck into the open cage.
That goal turned out to be important, as the Wolf Pack struck again on the power play at 18:33, after Wotherspoon was called for holding at the 18-minute mark. This time it was Pedrie lighting the lamp for his first time as a pro, on a snap shot from the right circle, off of a pass from the top of the slot by Ryan Graves.
The Wolf Pack’s next action is also against the Sound Tigers, a home game at the XL Center this Friday night, October 27. That game is a 7:15 PM faceoff, and, as at all Friday-night Wolf Pack home games, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period, presented by Dave & Buster’s.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2017-18 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.