BRIDGEPORT, CT - Sound Tigers defenseman Ty Wishart scored twice, but Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg made 34 saves and stopped all five Bridgeport shooters in the shootout to give Providence a 3-2 win at Webster Bank Arena on Thursday night. With the win, Providence improves to 23-16-0-3. The Sound Tigers earn a point with the shootout loss as their record moves to 19-19-2-3.
Although Providence came out of the first period with a 13-11 advantage in shots, the Sound Tigers dictated much of the action with a strong forecheck that kept the Bruins pinned deep in their zone for most of the opening frame. That strong forecheck eventually paid dividends with 1:55 left in the period, when Wishart sent a low wrist shot from the slot through a Kirill Kabanov screen past Providence goaltender Niklas Svedberg to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Providence answered on the power play to tie the score with 24.1 seconds remaining in the opening period. Bruins forward Craig Cunningham received a pass at the bottom of the left circle the Sound Tigers zone, and fired a shot past goaltender Kevin Poulin to bring Providence even heading into the second period.
The Sound Tigers continued to work in the Providence zone, and earned a power play which led to their second goal. Wishart collected a pass from John Persson, skated the puck into the slot and fired past Svedberg for his second goal of the night to put the Sound Tigers ahead 2-1 at 13:08 of the second period.
The Bruins turned the tables in the third and held the puck deep in the Sound Tigers zone for extended periods of time, but it was an odd-man rush that led to Providence’s tying goal. Ryan Spooner carried the puck deep along the left side of the zone, and Jamie Tardif deflected Spooner’s centering feed past Poulin to even the score at two with 5:13 left in regulation.
Bridgeport earned a power play with 59.8 seconds remaining in the third period, but were unable to score on the man-advantage in regulation or overtime. Their best scoring chance in the extra frame came when Matt Watkins skated in on a partial breakaway, but Svedberg made the save and the game went to a shootout.
The bonus round went scoreless until the fifth and final round. John Persson shot for the Sound Tigers in the first half of the round, but was stopped by Svedberg which set the stage for Carter Camper. Camper deked multiple times on Poulin before moving to his backhand and finishing on the open net to give the Bruins the extra point.
The Sound Tigers will look to rebound tomorrow evening when they travel up I-91 to Hartford to face the in-state rival Connecticut Whale at the XL Center at 7:00 p.m.
NOTES: The Sound Tigers are 2-3 in shootouts this season, Providence is now 6-3 in the bonus round … Matt Watkins recorded two assists in the game … Brett Gallant fought Bobby Robins in the first period; Gallant is third in the AHL in PIMs (174), Robins is first (211) … Jack Combs, Nino Niederreiter, Jon Landry, Brock Nelson and John Persson all shot in the shootout … Wishart’s two-goal game is the 12th for the Sound Tigers this season.
1. PRO: Niklas Svedberg
2. BRI: Ty Wishart
3. BRI: Kevin Poulin
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
40 Mike Halmo – 29 Brock Nelson – 22 Nino Niederreiter
23 John Persson – 14 Matt Watkins (A) – 77 Kirill Kabanov
42 Brandon DeFazio – 4 Scott Campbell - 20 Blair Riley
44 Brett Gallant – 5 Jack Combs – 16 Sean Backman
46 Matt Donovan – 6 Ty Wishart
27 Aaron Ness – 7 Jon Landry (A)
25 Jordan Hill – 8 Nathan McIver (A)
38 Kevin Poulin (starter)
45 Anders Nilsson