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.