BRIDGEPORT, CT - Carter Verhaeghe scored twice and Josh Winquist added three points (one goal, two assists) as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (36-19-2-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, defeated the Providence Bruins (34-16-5-4), 5-3, at Webster Bank Arena on Tuesday.
Tanner Fritz (one goal, one assist), Ryan Pulock (two assists) and Devon Toews (two assists) also notched multiple points, while Loic Leduc scored his first AHL goal early in the third period. With the win, the Sound Tigers improved to 6-3-0-0 against the Bruins this season and are now two points behind second-place Providence in the Atlantic Division standings.
Jaroslav Halak (15-3-3) made 41 saves between the pipes.
The Sound Tigers opened the scoring midway through the first period when Verhaeghe registered his first of two tallies. Pulock gathered the puck at the right point and wristed a shot that caught the post and landed in the crease. Before Zane McIntyre could find it and cover, Verhaeghe swept it past the goal line for his 11th of the season at the 10:04 mark. Winquist also earned an assist on the goal.
Less than four minutes later, Bridgeport struck again, this time on the power play from Fritz. With Chris Porter in the box for tripping, Michael Dal Colle fed a pass to Winquist down the left wing, where he proceeded to find Fritz in the right circle. From there, Fritz wristed a shot on target that was redirected by Bruins defenseman Rob O’Gara past McIntyre’s glove at 13:44.
After a scoreless middle frame, each team traded three goals in an eventful third period for the 5-3 final. The Sound Tigers extended their lead to 3-0 when Leduc found the back of the net at the 3:52 mark. Andrew Rowe controlled the puck on the right side of the goal line and forced a pass to Leduc at the right point. There, the rookie defenseman hammered a one-timer over McIntyre’s glove for his first AHL goal.
Just over two minutes later, Providence got on the board with a shorthanded tally from O’Gara. With Devon Toews in the box for tripping, Porter crossed into Bridgeport’s zone and pushed a lead pass to O’Gara down the right wing. The defenseman lowered his shoulder and skated straight to the net where he flipped a backhand shot over Halak’s left shoulder for his fourth of the season at the 5:54 mark.
At 7:42, Providence made it 3-2 with a power-play tally courtesy of leading scorer Jordan Szwarz. With Colin Markison in the box for interference, Tommy Cross brought the puck into the Sound Tigers’ zone and made a short diagonal pass to Wayne Simpson on the right side. Simpson preceded to wrist a shot on goal that was saved by Halak, but Szwarz forced home the rebound when he backhanded it past Bridgeport’s goaltender.
The Sound Tigers got one back on a fortuitous deflection at the 11:26 mark. Following a faceoff win from Winquist in the right circle of Providence’s zone, Toews fed a pass to Burroughs at the right point. Wasting no time, Burroughs fired a shot towards the net that was redirected by the bodies of both Winquist and Bruins defenseman Alex Grant, freezing McIntyre dead in his tracks. Winquist was credited with the tally, his 12th of the season, which made it 4-2. It would become the game-winning goal.
Verhaeghe extended Bridgeport’s lead to three and earned his second of the game with a power-play tally at 14:27 of the third. With Colton Hargrove in the box serving a double minor for high-sticking, Toews brought the puck into the offensive zone and to the left boards where he forced a pass to Verhaeghe at the top of the left circle. From there, Verhaeghe skated to the slot and forced a shot over McIntyre’s glove.
Szwarz capped the scoring at the 18:56 mark with another power-play goal, his 17th of the season. With Josh Holmstrom in the box for tripping, Hargrove ripped a shot towards the net that Halak turned back, but Szwarz capitalized on the second chance.
Both teams went 2-for-5 on the power play, while Providence outshot Bridgeport 44-23. McIntyre (15-2-1) made 18 saves in the Bruins’ loss.
Power Rangers Night: The Sound Tigers will celebrate Power Rangers Night next Saturday, March 11 at 7 p.m. Meet the Red Ranger and witness a live action performance during intermission at Webster Bank Arena. A special $25 Power Rangers Night package is available and includes a ticket to the game, a hot dog / chips / soda combo voucher and a classic Power Rangers themed Sound Tigers t-shirt. Call (203) 345-2300 Option 7 to order or ORDER ONLINE NOW. Packages are limited and the package is not available at the box office.
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.