BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (21-15-4-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, won their third straight game on Wednesday with a 3-1 victory against the Springfield Thunderbirds (19-24-1-1) at Webster Bank Arena.
John Stevens, Travis St. Denis and Josh Holmstrom all found the back of the net for Bridgeport as the club evened its season series against the T-Birds (3-3-0-0). Between the pipes, Kristers Gudlevskis (6-7-4) was steady yet again and made 19 saves on 20 shots, earning back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
With the victory, the Sound Tigers also extended their unbeaten in regulation streak at home to nine games (7-0-1-1) – four shy of the franchise record.
Stevens put the Sound Tigers on the board first 10:19 into the opening period when he tallied his second goal of the season. Kyle Burroughs sent Stevens a lead pass in the neutral zone that set him up for a one-on-one race towards the Thunderbirds’ net. Stevens quickly created some separation between him and defenseman Mark Fayne before he shot the puck directly between the legs of goaltender Evan Cowley.
Bridgeport doubled its lead at 7:21 of the middle frame while the Thunderbirds were in the midst of a Ryan Horvat high-sticking penalty. Mitch Vande Sompel sent a cross-ice pass from the left point to St. Denis in the right circle, where he skated directly to the slot and fired a wrist shot off the post and in. It sailed top shelf on Cowley for St. Denis’ 10th goal of the season and his fourth on the power play.
Springfield responded shortly after with a power-play goal of its own at the 10:34 mark. While Ben Holmstrom served a roughing penalty, Jayce Hawryluk guided a pass from behind the net to Anthony Greco at the doorstep, where he repeatedly jammed at the puck. It eventually squeezed past Gudlevskis and found the back of the twine to make it 2-1.
The Sound Tigers added some padding to their lead just 4:16 into the final frame to cap the 3-1 outcome. Kane Lafranchise found Josh Holmstrom on the left wing, and the gritty forward curled behind the net and backhanded in his second goal of the season. His shot hit Cowley’s stick and bounced into the top left corner for his first tally since Nov. 24, 2017.
The Sound Tigers outshot the Thunderbirds 24-20 and finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play, and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill. Cowley (2-3-0) made 21 saves for Springfield.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers hit the road this Friday to rematch the Springfield Thunderbirds at 7:05 p.m. at MassMutual Center. 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.
Marvel Night: Meet Spiderman, Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America this Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Sound Tigers host the Hershey Bears at Webster Bank Arena. Special ticket packages are available now through Friday afternoon that include access to the game, a superhero t-shirt and more, starting at just $25. Click here for tickets and more information on Marvel Night, or call the team's front office at 203-345-2300 ext. 7. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Guarantee Your Seats: Flex plans are on sale now for the 2017-18 campaign, offering the greatest savings and ultimate flexibility of all ticket packages. Pick between a full-season, 20-game, 15-game or 10-game plan and you'll also be entitled to exclusive benefits, including the ticket holder exchange policy, which means any unused tickets can be traded for future games. Please contact Brad Dworin at 203-345-4813 or via firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to guarantee your seats.