BRIDGEPORT, CT - Bracken Kearns notched his team-leading 20th goal of the season on Saturday, but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (36-21-2-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 4-1 loss to the Albany Devils (34-25-1-1) at Webster Bank Arena.
Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews also recorded a point with the helpers. Pulock now has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in his last 10 games and Toews leads all league rookies with 32 assists this season.
The Devils struck first just 34 seconds into the game when John Quenneville netted his seventh power-play goal. With Carter Verhaeghe in the box for slashing, Jacob MacDonald led a pass on for Quenneville, who skated through the left circle and filtered a pin-point shot over Jaroslav Halak’s glove for his 12th goal of the season overall.
The Sound Tigers responded with their own power-play tally from Kearns at 10:33 of the first period. With Vojtech Mozik in the box for hooking, Pulock settled a pass from Toews and continued the puck over to Kearns in the right circle, where the veteran loaded and wired a slap shot past the glove of Mackenzie Blackwood. Kearns now has eight power-play goals this season, one behind Steve Bernier for the team lead.
Petr Straka recorded the eventual game-winning tally at 16:37 of the first period with his fourth goal of the season. Josh Jacobs slid a pass to Straka in the neutral zone, where the latter skated to the top of the right circle and beat Halak’s glove with a wrist shot to make it 2-1.
Just 1:11 later, the Devils extended their lead to 3-1 on Greg Wolfe’s first goal of the season, and his second in the AHL. Rod Pelley stole the puck in the left corner of Bridgeport’s zone and slid a centering feed to Ryan Kujawinski for a one-time shot. Halak made the initial save, but the rebound caromed to Wolfe at the doorstep, where he brushed it home. The Sound Tigers replaced Halak with Eamon McAdam to begin the second period.
Following a scoreless middle frame, Albany made it 4-1 at 15:57 of the third period courtesy of Brian Gibbons. Wolfe generated a turnover at his own blue line when he poked the puck through the neutral zone ahead of Gibbons, allowing the latter to skate the other way on a breakaway. From the doorstep, Gibbons beat McAdam’s right leg for his 12th goal of the season.
The Sound Tigers went 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. McAdam (9-3-0) made 13 saves in 39:54 of a no decision in relief. Meanwhile, Blackwood (13-10-2) stopped 25 shots in Albany’s win.
Bridgeport outshot the Devils 26-21.
Magic Night: The Sound Tigers celebrate Magic Night on Sunday when they welcome the Hartford Wolf Pack to Webster Bank Arena. The first 2,500 fans will receive a free deck of Sound Tigers branded playing cards and everyone in attendance will be treated to magic shows during intermission and throughout the game. Good seats are still available by clicking here. Doors open at 2 p.m. and the puck drops at 3 p.m.
For additional details or to reserve seats for any of the 2016-17 giveaway and theme nights, please call the Sound Tigers’ front office at (203) 345-2300.
Executive suites and premium seat packages are also available by calling the team’s front office at (203) 345-4841. If you are interested in group outings with your friends, family, co-workers, or clients an unforgettable experience at a discounted rate, call the group sales hotline at (203) 345-2300 Ext. 7.