BRIDGEPORT, CT - Kristers Gudlevskis turned aside a season-high 38 shots on Sunday and earned his third shutout of the year as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (25-22-5-3), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, blanked the Charlotte Checkers (31-23-0-3), 1-0, at Webster Bank Arena.
Kellen Jones scored the game’s only tally with an unassisted goal in second period, while Bridgeport shut out its opponent for the seventh time this season, which snapped a two-game slide. With the victory, the Sound Tigers defended fifth place in the Atlantic Division standings and now sit seven points outside of a playoff spot behind Charlotte (with two games in hand).
Charlotte controlled the majority of the opening frame and outshot Bridgeport 14-6, but couldn’t solve Gudlevskis. The fifth-year netminder settled in early, which was key after allowing nine goals in his last two starts combined.
Jones’ second AHL goal this season came at 6:21 of the middle frame. Following a blatant turnover by the Checkers in an attempt to clear the puck from their own zone, Jones caught the flying puck between the circles and quickly dropped it to his stick. The fourth-year forward quickly fired a rocket that zipped directly over the shoulder of goaltender Jeremy Smith.
Charlotte pressed hard in the final 20 minutes and outshot the Sound Tigers a whopping 16-2, but Gudlevskis proved he was up for the task.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Bridgeport’s power play is now 0-for-21 over its last six outings.
In addition, Bridgeport allowed a season-high 38 shots on goal, unusual for the club that led the AHL in shots against per game (25.89) entering the afternoon. The Sound Tigers tested Smith with 23 chances.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers open a four-game road trip on Wednesday with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Rochester Americans at Blue Cross Arena. 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.