BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2-4-0-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, scored a season-high six goals, including Mitch Vande Sompel’s first professional tally, in a 6-3 win against the Hartford Wolf Pack (3-3-0-1) at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday.
Aside from Vande Sompel, five other Sound Tigers found the back of the net, including Kyle Burroughs and Michael Dal Colle, who also scored their first goals of the season. In addition, Scott Eansor notched his third tally of the weekend and league-leading seventh of the year.
Between the pipes, Kristers Gudlevskis (2-1-0) made 21 saves in Bridgeport’s weekend finale.
Eansor continued his hot streak in the opening six minutes with a power-play goal to make it 1-0 at 5:32. The rookie forward capitalized on the man advantage by knocking home a rebound from Tanner Fritz’s shot that bounced right onto the stick of Eansor, who was able to push one past the glove side of Hartford’s goalie, Christopher Nell.
Less than eight minutes later, Vande Sompel recorded his first professional goal at the 12:58 mark on a wrister from the top of the slot that was set up beautifully thanks to a centering pass from Ross Johnson. Following a turnover by Neal Pionk from behind the net, Johnston fed a pass to Vande Sompel in the slot before his shot funneled through Nell’s five-hole for a 2-0 lead.
The Sound Tigers weren’t done in the first period just yet, and Fritz continued to pour it on at 19:35. Right as Fritz left the penalty box after serving a tripping minor, he collected the puck and entered the zone on a breakaway opportunity to set up the Sound Tigers’ third goal. He made his way to the doorstep and unloaded a wrist shot that went stick side on Nell.
Hartford’s Brandon Crawley got the Wolf Pack on the board at 5:17 of the second period, converting on a slap shot from the point following a pass from Garrett Noonan, which snuck under the glove of Gudlevskis. A little over two minutes later, Bridgeport responded to make it 4-1 courtesy of Dal Colle, who collected his first of the year on a nifty one-timer at 7:34. Travis St. Denis created the rush down the left wing before he centered a pass for Dal Colle in the slot. Sebastian Aho was also credited with an assist.
The Sound Tigers didn’t stop there, collecting their fifth goal at 9:19 of the third period. Burroughs netted his first goal of the season when the third-year defenseman jammed home a rebound opportunity created by a Dal Colle shot from the blue line.
Hartford made it 5-2 when the visitors capitalized on the power play for the first time at 12:20. With Ryan Bourque in the box for tripping, Adam Tambellini scored his fourth goal of the season with a pin-point wrist shot from the left circle that sailed top shelf on Gudlevskis.
With time running out, Hartford decided to pull Nell in the final four minutes and the Wolf Pack ultimately paid the price when Steve Bernier registered an empty-net goal at 17:33. He was helped by a centering pass from St. Denis on a 2-on-1 rush before poking it home for the 6-2 score. Exactly one minute later, while on a 4-on-3 power play, Vince Pedrie got one back for Hartford and capped the 6-3 final when he fired a wrist shot from the slot. Parker Wotherspoon was serving a holding minor.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 1-for-5 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill. Their defense was much sharper and allowed just three goals for the third time since last Saturday in Charlotte.
Bridgeport outshot Hartford 33-25, while Nell (3-2-0) made 27 saves in Hartford’s loss.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to action on Friday, October 27 when they travel to Hartford, Conn. to square off against the Wolf Pack at 7:15 p.m. Fans can follow all of the live action on the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHL Live, beginning with the pre-game show at 7 p.m.