HERSHEY, CT - Christopher Gibson made a season-high 37 saves on Saturday as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (34-18-5-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, won their sixth straight game with a 4-1 victory against the Hershey Bears (32-22-1-3) at Giant Center.
It was Gibson’s (18-9-4) seventh win in as many decisions since Feb. 5, while Michael Dal Colle, Steve Bernier, Travis St. Denis and Tanner Fritz all scored in the first of five straight road games. Dal Colle and St. Denis also added assists for the contest’s only multi-point efforts.
With the win, the second-place Sound Tigers remain eight points behind the Charlotte Checkers with 17 games left in the regular season.
Dal Colle put the Sound Tigers out front within the first two minutes when he scored his 18th goal of the season directly in front of the Hershey net. Josh Ho-Sang and Otto Koivula connected on a sequence of passes to set up Dal Colle in the right circle, where the third-year forward cut to the slot and eluded two Bears. He opened up to the forehand and snapped a shot off goaltender Ilya Samsonov’s left shoulder and in at the 1:58 mark.
Bernier converted on Bridgeport’s first man advantage later in the period to make it 2-0 with his team-leading 19th tally. It was also his team-best 10th power-play goal, which occurred with just one second left on Tyler Lewington’s cross-checking penalty. Mitch Vande Sompel directed a cross-ice pass to St. Denis in the right circle, where he slapped a one-timer on target that Bernier cleaned up on the rebound.
Hershey closed to within one early in the second period when Garrett Pilon scored his sixth goal of the season. Jonas Siegenthaler blasted a shot from the blue line that Yannick Rathgeb deflected down with his stick before Pilon beat Gibson from the slot at 1:50.
St. Denis regained Bridgeport’s two-goal advantage with another power-play strike at 13:17 of the middle frame. With Riley Barber in the box for tripping, St. Denis beat Samsonov’s blocker from above the left hash marks for his 14th goal this season and fifth on the power play.
Fritz completed the scoring in the final 49 seconds with an empty-netter that sealed the Sound Tigers’ 34th win this season. Bridgeport finished the game 2-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Hershey outshot Bridgeport 38-18.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers continue their five-game road trip tomorrow afternoon with a 3 p.m. matchup against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center. The game in Allentown, Penn. will air across the Sound Tigers Radio Network and may be viewed live via AHLTV. Pre-game coverage will begin at 2:45 p.m.
About the Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Founded in 2001, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Hockey Club is the top minor league affiliate of the New York Islanders. Don't miss your chance to take part in the family fun entertainment happening every home game at Webster Bank Arena. For further information on ticket or sponsorship opportunities, call our office at (203) 345-2300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.