BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (44-26-3-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, used three goals in a span of 2:01 during the second period on Sunday to defeat the Hartford Wolf Pack (24-43-4-2) at Webster Bank Arena in the team’s home finale.
Travis St. Denis, Ben Holmstrom and Ryan Pulock all found the back of the net, while Eamon McAdam (15-6-0) made 19 saves. With the win, Bridgeport pulled to within one point of the Hershey Bears for a playoff spot with only two games remaining in the regular season.
After a scoreless first period, the Sound Tigers opened the floodgates beginning at 12:14 of the second with three straight goals to build a commanding lead. St. Denis broke the deadlock with his 11th goal of the season in his first game back after missing 16 contests due to injury. The rookie winger began the tic-tac-toe play when he slid a quick pass to Michael Dal Colle in the slot, where the latter passed it across to Darren Nowick who wristed a shot on goal. Nowick’s chance was initially stopped by Brandon Halverson, but the rebound deflected off a diving St. Denis and past Halverson’s blocker.
Ben Holmstrom made it 2-0 just 30 seconds later with his seventh of the season on his 30th birthday. Ross Johnston hammered a one-timer on target, which again was stopped by Halverson, but the rebound was finished by Holmstrom who backhanded it over Halverson’s’ glove at the 12:44 mark.
Bridgeport extended its lead to 3-0 at 14:15 of the second period on a power-play goal from Pulock, his 14th of the season. With Dan Catenacci in the box for hooking, Andrew Rowe created a chance when he faked a shot and made a quick pass to Pulock in the left circle where the defenseman blasted a one-timer home. Devon Toews also earned an assist on the eventual game-winning goal.
Hartford got one back at 1:17 of the third period when Matt Carey tallied his 21st goal of the season. Vince Pedrie set up and shot a rocket from the parameter that was tipped by Carey in front over McAdam’s glove to make it 3-1.
The Wolf Pack finished the scoring at 12:12 of the third period courtesy of Catenacci’s eighth goal of the year. Vinni Lettieri wristed a shot from the high slot that was stopped by McAdam, but Catenacci capitalized on the rebound opportunity by sliding the puck inside the left post and past McAdam’s right leg for the 3-2 final.
The Sound Tigers went 1-for-3 on the power play and a perfect, 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Halverson (9-15-0) turned back 33 shots in the loss.