BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (20-31-5-3), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, dropped a 3-1 decision to the Hartford Wolf Pack (31-15-6-5) in front of 6,363 fans at Webster Bank Arena on Saturday.
Nick Schilkey scored his ninth goal of the season to tie the game in the second period, but Tim Gettinger had two for Hartford and Steven Fogarty ended the contest with an empty-netter.
It was Hartford’s fourth straight win in the season series.
The first period was a story of two 10-minute blocks for the rivals. After holding the Wolf Pack to just two shots through 11 minutes, Hartford picked up the pace and outshot Bridgeport 9-6 in the frame. Goaltenders Jared Coreau and Adam Huska were flawless in the opening 20 minutes and took a scoreless deadlock into the intermission.
Oliver Wahlstrom was called for slashing late in the first period and it carried over into the second, setting the stage for Hartford’s first goal at 1:08. Darren Raddysh guided a long shot towards the net that Gettinger deflected in the low slot for his 14th goal of the season and his second on the power play.
The Sound Tigers gradually picked up steam in the middle portion of the game and Schilkey tied the score at 1-1 at the 13:49 mark. Seth Helgeson played the puck behind Hartford’s net where Mason Jobst settled it and filtered a pass in front for Schilkey’s one-time finish. It was his first goal since Jan. 12 against Laval.
The game remained even until 9:56 of the period when Gettinger notched his second of the night on the power play. Jeff Kubiak was called for slashing at 8:28 and Gettinger cashed in from the doorstep after Danny O’Regan found him camped out.
Less than a minute later, Coreau made several point-blank saves on a scramble in front and appeared in discomfort as the Sound Tigers cleared the zone. He was pulled from the game shortly after and Christopher Gibson entered in relief. Coreau (10-15-1) made 35 saves on 37 shots in 50:43, while Gibson (no decision) went 5-for-5 in 8:51.
The Sound Tigers forced a flurry of shots on net in the final minutes with Gibson pulled and the extra attacker on, but couldn’t get back even. Instead, Hartford’s captain raced onto a loose puck in the neutral zone, behind Bridgeport’s defense, and made it 3-1. It was Fogarty’s 13th goal of the season.
The defeat dropped Bridgeport to 1-5-2-0 in eight meetings against Hartford this season. The Sound Tigers went 0-for-4 on the power play and 0-for-2 on the penalty kill. The Wolf Pack led in shots, 43-27.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena tomorrow evening for a 5 p.m. matchup against the Binghamton Devils. Fans can follow all of the live action online via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning at 4:45 p.m.