Bridgeport silenced despite 39 shots on goal in Game 2 setback
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, proud affiliate of the New York Islanders, fired 39 shots on goal Saturday night, but were silenced in Game 2 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals by the Hershey Bears at Webster Bank Arena.
Vitek Vanecek (1-0) was lights out for the visitors en route to his first blank sheet in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Jeremy Smith (0-1) made 32 saves on 34 shots for the Sound Tigers in front of 5,002 fans.
Hershey received goals from Mike Sgarbossa and Riley Barber, while Matt Lorito launched a game-high seven shots on goal and hit the post once.
The best-of-five series is knotted at 1-1 and shifts to Pennsylvania for Game 3 on Tuesday night.
The Bears scored first for the second consecutive night, when Sgarbossa redirected home his first goal of the postseason at 11:15 of the opening frame. With heavy traffic in front of the net, Lucas Johansen received a pass on the left wing and sailed a wrist shot towards the crease that Sgarbossa deflected in from the back post to make it 1-0.
Despite being outshot 13-12 in the first period, the Sound Tigers logged their fair share of scoring chances. Lorito nicked the crossbar at the tail end of a busy shift alongside linemates Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows at 12:55. Later, Otto Koivula and Connor Jones both created high-percentage chances, but Vanecek met each shot with a pad save - two of his 12 saves in period.
Barber extended Hershey's lead to 2-0 nearly four minutes into the second period. Sgarbossa and Barber entered the zone on a 2-on-1 rush, before Barber finished the attack with a slick forehand-to-backhand move on a partial breakaway for his first of the playoffs. He led Hershey with a career-high 31 goals during the regular season.
The Sound Tigers made a push to even the game in the third period, mustering 18 shots to Hershey's eight. They almost converted at the 13:06 mark when Vanecek carelessly left his crease to play the puck, and Kubiak's shot was denied by a body in front.
While the Sound Tigers were unable to find twine, Smith continued to hold down the fort, denying Steve Whitney's breakaway attempt at 7:22 of the third.
The Sound Tigers finished the night 3-for-3 on the penalty kill, 0-for-5 on the power play, and outshoot the Bears 39-34. Bridgeport's penalty kill is 8-for-8 in the series.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers head to Hershey on Tuesday for Game 3 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals at Giant Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m. and fans can follow all of the live action via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from April 20, 2019
- Condors Split on Road and Host Game 3 Tuesday - Bakersfield Condors
- Wolves Come Through in Game 2 - Chicago Wolves
- Series Tied After Wolves' Game 2 Win - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Vanecek Shuts out Bridgeport, Series Tied 1-1 - Hershey Bears
- Bridgeport silenced despite 39 shots on goal in Game 2 setback - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Crunch Face 2-0 Series Deficit After 5-1 Loss to Monsters - Syracuse Crunch
- P-Bruins Drop Thrilling Game One to Checkers - Providence Bruins
- Monsters Defeat Crunch 5-1, Claim 2-0 Lead in North Division Semi-Final Series - Cleveland Monsters
- Checkers Win Wild Game 1 to Take Series Lead - Charlotte Checkers
- American Hockey League Announces Suspension - AHL
- Flames Sign Forward Martin Pospisil - Stockton Heat
- Derek Barach Inks AHL Contract with Monsters for 2019-20 Season - Cleveland Monsters
- Tampa Bay Lightning Reassign Forward Otto Somppi to Orlando Solar Bears - Syracuse Crunch
- Capitals Recall Goaltender Ilya Samsonov from Hershey - Hershey Bears
- Sound Tigers Host Hershey in Game 2 Tonight - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Game Preview: Bears at Sound Tigers, 7 p.m. - Atlantic Division Semifinals Game 2 - Hershey Bears
- Griffins Seize Game 1 and Home Ice from Wolves - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Bellows scores twice, including game-winner in double overtime - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Condors Win Game One in Colorado, 3-2 - Bakersfield Condors
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Bridgeport Sound Tigers Stories
- Sound Tigers Set Home Opener for October 19
- Bridgeport's season ends in Game 5 overtime loss
- Sound Tigers Host Bears in Decisive Game 5 Tonight
- Lorito scores at 1:13 of overtime to force winner-take-all Game 5 on Saturday
- Sound Tigers Battle in Must-Win Game 4 Tonight