PROVIDENCE, RI - Jared Coreau made a season-high 43 saves in one of his best results of the year on Friday, backstopping the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (15-22-4-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, to a 2-1 victory against the Providence Bruins (22-16-1-2) at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Otto Koivula and Oliver Wahlstrom each found the back of the net, while Pavel Shen had the only Bruins’ tally to break up Coreau’s shutout bid in the third period. It was a gritty, hard-fought victory for the Sound Tigers, who were outshot 44-26 on the night.
Wahlstrom put the Sound Tigers out front just over seven minutes into the contest with his fourth goal of the season on an odd-man rush. Andrew Ladd forced the puck up the boards in his own zone and ahead for Kyle Burroughs, who opened up space and continued the opportunity. Burroughs created a two-on-one rush down the left wing and found Wahlstrom on the right side, where he buried a back-post wrist shot at the 7:04 mark.
Both teams also had shorthanded breakaway opportunities in the opening period, but couldn’t convert. Cole Bardreau got loose and had backhander kicked away by Dan Vladar, and Brendan Gaunce was denied by Coreau, who squeezed the leg pads together in the final five minutes.
Koivula’s power-play tally at 10:53 of the second period made it 2-0 and proved to be the game-winner when it was all said and done. Providence’s Paul Carey was called for tripping at the 9:18 mark and while on the man advantage, Wahlstrom ripped a slapshot at Vladar from above the right circle. Vladar made the save and one more on Kieffer Bellows’ rebound chance, but Koivula cleaned it up from below the hash marks for his seventh goal this season, and his fifth goal in his last six AHL games.
The Sound Tigers used outstanding defense and textbook penalty killing to preserve their lead later in the second period and early in the third. The Bruins went quiet on 56 seconds of five-on-three power-play time to end the middle frame, and also came up empty on a five-minute power play to begin the third period following Parker Wotherspoon’s major and match penalties for spearing.
However, Shen capitalized at 5:26 of third period with his fourth goal of the season to make things interesting. Brendan Woods curled behind Bridgeport’s net and centered a pass to the slot, where Shen banged home a one-timer.
Despite a late surge for the Bruins, which resulted in a 19-4 shots discrepancy in the third period, the Sound Tigers held on to win and snap their seven-game slide on the road.
Bridgeport finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the kill. The Sound Tigers improved to 2-3-0-0 against the Bruins in 2019-20.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return home tomorrow night for a 7 p.m. rematch against the Bruins at Webster Bank Arena. Fans can follow all of the live action via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
Be There, You Must: Tomorrow’s tilt is Star Wars Night at Webster Bank Arena, featuring a $25 ticket package that includes access to the hockey game, a movie voucher to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, or another movie of your choice at any local Bow Tie Cinemas location. This package is only available by clicking here prior to 2 p.m. ET today. In addition, the first 2,500 fans will receive a lightsaber and your favorite Star Wars characters will be roaming the concourse throughout the night. Tickets are on sale now !