Bridgeport closer to clinching playoff spot
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Six different skaters scored for Bridgeport, as the Sound Tigers defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 6-4 on Saturday night at PPL Center.
Tyler Barnes, Jared Gomes, Mike Halmo, Kane Lafranchise, Marc-Andre Cliche and James Wright all found the back of the net for Bridgeport, as the Sound Tigers got one step closer to the Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Sound Tigers took a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the game, thanks to one of their newest additions. Wright found Barnes in the slot, who was just recalled from the Missouri Mavericks after the game last night. Barnes fired a shot past Anthony Stolarz for his first as a Sound Tiger and first goal in the AHL in over two years.
Bridgeport took a 2-0 lead with eight minutes left in the period on what looked to be a harmless play. Jared Gomes picked the puck up and brought it into the offensive zone down the left wing. Gomes took a shot that rocketed off his stick and past Stolarz to give Bridgeport a 2-0 lead.
Lehigh Valley responded with a goal early in the second period. Cole Bardreau snapped a quick shot through the five-hole of Stephon Williams and got Lehigh Valley on the board. Mike Halmo got one right back for the Sound Tigers, scoring the only other goal of the middle frame. Halmo took a pass from Tanner Fritz, then blasted a shot past Stolarz to give Bridgeport its two goal lead back.
The third period featured six goals, with three going to each team. The first came for Kane Lafranchise, who got his first goal as a Sound Tiger on the power play. Lafranchise threw the puck through a screen and gave Bridgeport a 4-1 lead, with Kyle Schempp getting an assist and his first point in his first pro game.
Lehigh Valley got one back from Oscar Lindblom, but Marc-Andre Cliche became the third Sound Tigers player to get their first goal with Bridgeport on the night. Cliche took a shot that deflected off a Phantoms defenseman in front and over Stolarz to give the Sound Tigers what looked like an insurmountable lead with nine minutes remaining.
However, Lehigh Valley put their best effort forward, scoring with four minutes left in the third. Robert Hagg sent a shot on net that hit Lindblom and beat Williams. Lindblom's second of the game and second of the season made it interesting, but a former Sound Tiger made things exciting.
It was Colin McDonald, beating Williams just 50 seconds later, and Lehigh Valley made it a one-goal game with 3:15 remaining. With the score at 5-4 and the Phantoms pressing, Ben Holmstrom took a cross-checking penalty with 17 seconds remaining, giving Lehigh Valley a 6-on-4 for the rest of the game.
Luckily for Bridgeport, it got the clear and Wright put the puck into the empty net for the short-handed goal. Williams finished with 24 stops on the night while the power play went 1-for-4 and the kill 4-for-4 with the short-handed goal.
These two teams face each other tomorrow night, with the contest moving to Bridgeport. Puck drop is set for 5:00 p.m.
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