BRIDGEPORT, CT - Andrew Ladd scored in the final game of his conditioning loan on Sunday afternoon, but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (3-9-2-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, fell to the Belleville Senators (6-6-1-0) in regulation, 2-1, at Webster Bank Arena.
Belleville’s Marcus Hogberg (3-5-0) was excellent from start to finish and completed the game with 27 saves on 28 shots. On the flip side, Jakub Skarek (1-2-0) turned back 28 of the 30 shots he faced in a solid performance, while celebrating his 20th birthday.
Sunday’s contest completed a five-game homestand for the Sound Tigers, which saw the team go 2-3-0-0.
The opening frame was mostly back and forth with both teams attempting to take advantage of lackadaisical play. But Belleville got on the board first with less than two minutes left in the period when Morgan Klimchuck collected his third goal of the season. Michael Carcone tried to fire a one-time slap shot from the high slot, but his stick gave way and a change-up was directed at Skarek. That caused a scramble in front of the crease and Klimchuck scored on the rebound at the 18:42 mark.
The B-Sens made it 2-0 at 3:52 of the second period when Alex Formenton went coast-to-coast to set up Max Veronneau at the back door. Formenton skated down the left wing and slipped a cross-ice pass to Veronneau, who lifted it top shelf past Skarek to extend Belleville’s lead. It was just the second goal of the season for Veronneau in 11 games.
The first bit of boxing action came at 5:26 of the middle period when Mason Jobst exchanged blows with Carcone after Jobst put a hard hit on Frank Corrado. Carcone received an instigating minor in addition to a 10-minute misconduct and fighting major, but the Sound Tigers failed to score on the power play. Bridgeport finished the afternoon 0-for-4 on the man advantage, including 45 seconds of five-on-three time in the second.
Ladd got the Sound Tigers back to within one when he whistled a terrific shot past Hogberg’s blocker at 17:35 of the second period. Sebastian Aho delivered a highlight worthy behind-the-back pass to Ladd in the right circle, where he cashed in from the faceoff dot.
An aggressive attitude from both teams carried over into the third period with Bridgeport itching desperately for a game-tying goal. Hogberg remained sharp to seal the victory for Belleville, facing 10 shots in the final frame.
Belleville outshot Bridgeport overall 30-28. It was the Sound Tigers' first loss to the Belleville Senators since the team move to Canada in 2017.