Koivula extends goal-scoring streak to four games in setback on Friday
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Otto Koivula scored for the fourth consecutive game on Friday, but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (21-10-4-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 3-1 loss to the Syracuse Crunch (21-9-2-0) at the War Memorial Arena.
Christopher Gibson (11-5-4) stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced, while Syracuse capitalized once in each period to earn its fourth straight win at home.
The Crunch struck first at 12:26 of the opening period when Alex Barre-Boulet scored his league-leading 11th power-play tally to make it 1-0. With Kyle Burroughs in the box for boarding, former Sound Tigers Cory Conacher and Carter Verhaeghe teamed up to find Barre-Boulet at the bottom of the right circle. Verhaeghe pulled a puck from the left half-wall and found Conacher above the right circle, where guided a pass to Barre-Boulet for a one-timer that beat Gibson's glove.
Alex Volkov made it 2-0 at 4:40 of the second period when he converted on a breakaway at even strength. Sebastian Aho lost his footing at the right point and Volkov raced by with the puck, and darted straight at Gibson. He held off a back-checking Koivula and slipped a forehand shot inside the left post for his eighth goal of the year.
Verhaeghe pushed Syracuse's lead to three at 6:55 of the third period with brilliant stickhandling that led to his 14th goal of the season. Barre-Boulet bumped the puck to Verhaeghe near the top of the left circle and Verhaeghe danced to the slot before flipping a backhand shot over Gibson's glove. It was also Verhaeghe's team-leading 38th point of the season.
Koivula got the Sound Tigers back to within two and broke up Eddie Pasquale's (12-4-2) shutout bid with his fourth goal in four games at the 9:18 mark. Parker Wotherspoon directed the puck to Koivula who charged ahead and over the Crunch blue line. Still near the parameter, he reached back and fired a wrist shot that beat Pasquale inside the left post for his 11th goal of the season.
Bridgeport finished the game 0-for-7 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill, while Syracuse won the shot battle, 32-20.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers continue a six-game road trip tomorrow night with their second of two matchups against the Binghamton Devils this season. The pucks at 7:05 p.m. inside the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Fans can follow all of the live action online via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
Next Home Game: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena on Saturday, Jan. 12 for Military Appreciation Night against the Hartford Wolf Pack, presented by the Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut. The first 2,000 fans will receive a camouflage hat when doors open at 6 p.m. and fans are encouraged to look into a $25 ticket package (tickets at the box office are regularly $31 in this seating area) that includes a ticket to the game and a military themed Sound Tigers t-shirt! A portion of this ticket package will also be donated to the BBB Foundation to support scholarships for children of military members from Connecticut.
Packed Promotional Lineup: The Sound Tigers boast one of their most extensive and wide-ranging promotional schedules ever for the 2018-19 season. The fan-friendly calendar includes the return of popular themes like Hockey and Hops (Mar. 17), Military Appreciation (Jan. 12), Star Wars Night (Jan. 19) and Princess Night (Mar. 30). Regional hockey fans will also be elated for the addition of Hockey Weekend in Connecticut (Feb. 23-24). View the full 2018-19 promotional schedule.
For additional details or to reserve a group outing for any giveaway or theme night, please call the Sound Tigers' front office at (203) 345-2300 ext 7.
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