SYRACUSE, NY - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (9-13-3-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 5-2 loss to the Syracuse Crunch (13-9-2-0) on Saturday to end a three-game road trip at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena.
Nick Schilkey scored for the second straight night and Parker Wotherspoon added his second goal in the last three games, while Jakub Skarek (2-4-0) made 27 saves on 32 shots in his seventh AHL appearance. Alex Volkov had a game-high four points (1g, 3a) for Syracuse and Taylor Raddysh had three (2g, 1a).
The loss dropped the Sound Tigers to 4-8-1-0 on the road this season and still without back-to-back wins away from Webster Bank Arena. The Crunch improved to 2-0-0-0 in the season series.
Syracuse led nearly wire-to-wire as Cameron Gaunce scored his third goal of the season just 1:44 into the contest to make it 1-0. Volkov found Gaunce alone in the high slot, where he guided a shot through traffic and past Skarek’s shoulder for his first of two points on the night. Five Syracuse players had a multi-point game.
Raddysh doubled the advantage at 7:22 of the first period when he orchestrated an incredible redirection from just outside the crease, tipping Volkov’s long shot from the left point. It fluttered across the line for his fourth goal of the season and put the Crunch on top 2-0 at the first intermission.
Wotherspoon’s blast from the right circle just over five minutes into the middle frame beat goaltender Spencer Martin for the first time and cut Bridgeport’s deficit in half. Wotherspoon collected a lead pass from Colin McDonald and skated down the right wing before firing a shot off a reaching stick and in. Matt Lorito also earned a marker with the secondary assist, extending his point streak to a season-best four games. In addition, McDonald has points in three in a row.
After a lengthy sequence of back-and-forth play for both teams, Volkov responded with a shorthanded goal in the final minutes of the second period to make it 3-1 after two. With Boris Katchouk in the box for tripping, Ben Thomas knocked the puck free and Chris Mueller stretched it ahead for Volkov, who got in behind the Sound Tigers defense and buried a breakaway effort from the low slot at 17:07.
Bridgeport kept it close midway through the third period with Schilkey’s fifth goal of the year on a rebound. Sebastian Aho chased down a loose puck deep in the Crunch zone and slung it to the doorstep with no hesitation. Tom Kuhnhackl drove the net and had a one-timer get kicked back by Martin, but Schilkey followed and scored on the backhand at the 9:00 mark to make it 3-2.
However, Syracuse ended the game with two unanswered goals to put up five on the Sound Tigers for the second straight meeting. Raddysh pocketed his second of the night at 11:17 when he hammered on a one-timer past Skarek’s blocker while on the power play. Fifty seconds later, Mueller netted his eighth goal of the season from the doorstep following a turnover deep in Bridgeport’s zone. Raddysh and Volkov each collected an assist for their final points of the evening at 12:07.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. Bridgeport’s power play is now 1-for-38 in its last nine games.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena on Monday for a 7 p.m. matchup against the Utica Comets. Great seats are still available by CLICKING HERE. 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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