BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (23-18-5-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 3-1 loss to the Providence Bruins (28-16-3-1) on "Pink in the Rink" Night at Webster Bank Arena Saturday.
Three of the four goals were scored on the power play and Casey Bailey collected Bridgeport’s lone tally late in the first period. However, the Bruins recorded three goals in the opening frame and earned just their second win against the Sound Tigers this season. The loss dropped Bridgeport to fifth place in the Atlantic Division standings, four points behind the fourth-place Charlotte Checkers.
In addition, Saturday’s game was physical from the get-go and featured 46 penalty minutes overall, including a fight 23 seconds into the first period between Mike Cornell and Adam Payerl. It was the first of two altercations as Colton Hargrove challenged Seth Helgeson at 12:40 of the second period following a forceful hit against Jakob Forsbaka Karlsson.
Providence got on the board first at 3:39 of the opening period with its first of two power-play goals on the night. With Kyle Burroughs in the box serving a boarding penalty, Tommy Cross sent a wrist shot to the crease that deflected in front and bounced right to the stick of Ryan Fitzgerald. Christopher Gibson came out of position due to the initial shot from Cross and Fitzgerald nudged it home from the back post.
Just 16 seconds later, Zach Senyshyn put the Bruins up 2-0 with their only even-strength goal of the game. Despite battling for space near the left corner, Colby Cave sent a cross-ice pass to Senyshyn, who quickly guided a shot past the outstretched glove of Gibson.
Providence added a third tally at the 10:39 mark with another power-play goal, this time from Colton Hargrove. Following a boarding penalty against Steve Bernier, Hargrove made his way to the low slot and converted his 12th goal of the season to make it 3-0. Jordan Szwarz navigated a centering pass from behind Gibson’s net to Hargrove at the doorstep, where he forced it over the goal line.
The Sound Tigers got on the board with just 3.4 seconds remaining in the first period with Bailey’s 11th goal of the season. While on the power play due to a Forsbacka Karlsson hooking penalty, Burroughs delayed in the right circle just long enough to open up a lane through the slot, where he sent a cross-ice pass to Bailey on the left wing. Cave nearly broke it up with a reaching stick, but the pass snuck through and Bailey hammered a one-timer past Jordan Binnington for his 100th professional point (44 goals, 56 assists).
The Sound Tigers outshot the Bruins 24-8 in the final 40 minutes, but couldn’t break through again. Bridgeport also finished the game 1-for-7 on the power play, and just 2-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Bridgeport outshot Providence 37-16, while Gibson (17-10-2) made 13 saves. Binnington (11-5-1) earned the win for Providence with 36 stops.
Lunchbox Giveaway: The first 2,500 kids, ages 14 and younger, will take home a Sound Tigers lunchbox tomorrow night, courtesy of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, when Bridgeport hosts the Syracuse Crunch at Webster Bank Arena. Doors open at 4 p.m. and the puck drops at 5 p.m. Great seats are on sale now.
Don't Go It Alone: Whether it's a corporate outing, a fundraiser, or just friends getting together, a group outing with the Sound Tigers will guarantee an unforgettable experience filled with fast-paced action on the ice, great music, promotions and contests at an affordable price. The Sound Tigers have a variety of packages and promotional events to offer. Please call the team's front office at 203-345-2300 ext. 7 for more information on the benefits of bringing your group to a future game!