BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost to the Manchester Monarchs Saturday by a final score of 2-1. Scooter Vaughan had his first goal of the season in the third period, but it was not enough to overcome a two-goal deficit late in the final frame. Anders Nilsson stopped 25 of 27 shots in the contest.
The Sound Tigers came out with plenty of jump in the first period, outshooting the Monarchs by a 15-5 margin. Neither team, however, scored in the opening 20 minutes.
Manchester broke through late in the second for the opening goal of the contest. The Monarchs came in on the rush as Brandon Kozun took a pass from Linden Vey. Kozun’s first shot was stopped by Nilsson, but he crashed the net, collected his own rebound and scored to make it a 1-0 Manchester lead. The goal was Kozun’s seventh of the season.
Manchester doubled its lead early in the third period on a goal from its leading point-scorer, Jordan Weal. He rushed into the zone up the middle, then angled to the right circle. Weal got the faceoff dot and fired a snap shot past the glove of Nilsson to give the Monarchs a 2-0 lead.
The Sound Tigers cut the Monarchs lead in half just after a 4-on-4 expired. As the Sound Tigers had the puck in the Monarchs zone, Vaughan came onto the ice on a line change and took a pass from Alan Quine. Vaughan moved into the left circle before taking a wrist shot that beat Monarchs goaltender Jean-Francois Berube. The goal is the first of Vaughan’s American Hockey League career.
The Sound Tigers appeared to score the game-tying goal with less than five minutes to play, but it was waved off due to goaltender interference. As a pass came out front, Chris Bruton drove to the front of the net. He and Andrew Campbell collided and crashed into Berube as the puck stayed loose in the slot. Justin Johnson was there to put in the loose puck, but the goal was immediately washed out. That was the best opportunity the Sound Tigers mustered in the final minutes.
The Sound Tigers return to action Sunday afternoon with a 3 p.m. game against the Albany Devils at Webster Bank Arena.