BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (16-13-4-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, fired 47 shots at Marek Mazanec and the Hartford Wolf Pack (15-17-3-3) on Wednesday, but suffered a 2-1 shootout loss at Webster Bank Arena.
Travis St. Denis scored his ninth goal of the season early in the second period and Kristers Gudlevskis (4-6-4) made 25 saves, but it wasn’t enough as Bridgeport fell to 0-1-2-1 over its last four outings. However, the Sound Tigers extended their unbeaten in regulation streak at home to five games (3-0-1-1).
Goal scoring was tough to come by for both squads throughout the night, especially for the Sound Tigers who came up empty in the first period despite two power plays. Instead, the Wolf Pack struck first with a shorthanded tally from Peter Holland at 17:06. Bridgeport lost possession at Hartford’s blue line and Holland set up a 2-on-1 rush down the ice with Cole Schneider. Following several passes back and forth, Holland finished his 13th goal of the season with a blocker-side shot and Schneider earned his 17th helper.
Just 59 seconds into the middle frame, St. Denis capitalized on a beautiful backhand centering feed by Michael Dal Colle to tie the game at 1-1. Dal Colle carried the puck with speed down the right wing and threw a pass to the doorstep, where a well-positioned St. Denis redirected it home. St. Denis now has five points (three goals, two assists) in his last five games.
The Sound Tigers outshot the Wolf Pack 19-5 in the third period, but couldn’t break through to take their first lead. Mazanec held strong and a crucial moment also arrived when Tanner Fritz took a holding minor with 1:59 left in regulation. Key stops by Gudlevskis and solid defense forced overtime for the third time in Bridgeport’s last four games.
An exciting extra session saw each team earn at least one breakaway opportunity in the final 30 seconds, but Gudlevskis and Mazanec both kept their poise. In the three-round shootout, only Hartford’s Ryan Gropp found the back of the net in the 2-1 final. Dal Colle, Fritz and Anthony Beauvillier all came up empty for Bridgeport.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play, but 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. Bridgeport outshot Hartford 47-27.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers open a home-and-home series against the Providence Bruins on Friday with a 7:05 p.m. puck drop at Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Rhode Island. Fans can follow all of the live action on the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHL Live, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. from Webster Bank Arena.
Salute the Troops: The Sound Tigers will celebrate our nations heroes, both past and present, with Military Appreciation Night presented by the Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut on Saturday against Providence. All veterans and active military personnel get in for free by visiting the Webster Bank Arena Click It or Ticket Box Office and the first 2,000 fans will receive a limited edition Sound Tigers camouflage hat when doors open at 6 p.m. In addition, the team will wear special camouflage jerseys that will be up for bid during the game at a silent auction on the concourse. Great seats are available here! Game time is 7 p.m.