Koivula scores Bridgeport's lone goal in Monday loss
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (23-15-4-2), proud affiliate of the New York Islanders, continued a five-game homestand with a 4-1 loss to the Hershey Bears (20-20-0-2) on Monday in a matinee matchup at Webster Bank Arena. Otto Koivula scored Bridgeport's lone tally on the power play late in the first period, while the Bears finished the game with four unanswered goals.
It was Hershey's fifth straight win and fourth in a row for goaltender Ilya Samsonov (9-11-0), while Jeremy Smith (11-8-4) suffered the loss with 25 saves on 29 shots for the Sound Tigers.
The contest began with an early penalty, as Bridgeport went to the kill only 15 seconds into the first period when Scott Eansor was called for tripping. The PK unit came up big and gave the Sound Tigers some early momentum, while game's physicality increased as Kyle Burroughs dropped the gloves with Hershey's Nathan Walker at the 4:24 mark.
Overall, the opening period was relatively even as Bridgeport outshot Hershey 9-8 and both teams scored once to take a 1-1 deadlock into the first intermission. Koivula's 13th goal of the season came in the back half of Tyler Lewington's interference penalty, in which he redirected Chris Bourque's pass to the slot after Bourque faked a slap shot from the top of the right circle. Sebastian Aho also earned an assist in his return to action after missing six games with an upper-body injury.
The Bears bounced back in the final 14 seconds of the first period when Riley Barber converted for the 17th time this year. Barber skated gracefully down the slot, settled a pass from Liam O'Brien, and snipped a wrister just over the glove of Smith at the 19:46 mark.
Hershey's strong play continued early in the second period and after successfully killing a penalty to Nathan Walker, the Bears capitalized again to make it 2-1. O'Brien sent a pass from the left wing to Jusso Ikonen in front, who was alone and scored his third goal of the season to give Hershey the lead at 4:24.
Less than five minutes later, Steve Bernier was called for interference and Hershey added to its lead when Aaron Ness sent a diagonal pass from the left point to Mike Sgarbossa at the bottom of the right circle. Sgarbossa slapped home his team-leading 19th goal of the season past Smith's reaching glove to make it 3-1.
The Bears extended their lead to 4-1 at the 2:53 minute mark of the final frame. After Beck Malenstyn's hard forecheck led to a Sound Tigers' turnover behind their own net, Malenstyn opened up and fired a shot that Smith kicked back, but Garrett Pilon buried the rebound for his third goal of the season.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill, while Hershey outshot Bridgeport 29-20.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday in a 10:30 a.m. school-day matchup at Webster Bank Arena. The game will air across the Sound Tigers Radio Network , and may be viewed live via AHLTV. Pre-game coverage is set to begin at 10:15 a.m.
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) 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.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from January 21, 2019
- San Diego Tops Reign, 4-1 - Ontario Reign
- Bad Bounces Down T-Birds in Overtime against Laval - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Glass Tough in Gulls' Win - San Diego Gulls
- Late Push by Tucson Overtakes Early Stars Advantage - Texas Stars
- Providence Tops Wolf Pack, 5-2 - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Martin Dazzles in 2-1 Shootout Win at Stockton - Colorado Eagles
- Carey's Hat Trick Leads P-Bruins over Pack 5-2 - Providence Bruins
- Iowa Ends Homestand with 4-1 Win against Rockford - Iowa Wild
- Bears Mourn Loss of Hall of Famer George 'Red' Sullivan - Hershey Bears
- Anaheim Ducks Assign Carrick and Kloos to Gulls - San Diego Gulls
- Penguins Defeat Lehigh Valley in Overtime, 2-1 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Admirals Begin Nine-Game Homestand Tuesday - Milwaukee Admirals
- Huntebrinker Scores First AHL Goal as Phantoms Earn Point - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Koivula scores Bridgeport's lone goal in Monday loss - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Crunch Down Devils, 2-1 - Syracuse Crunch
- Crunch Hang on for 2-1 Win over Devils - Binghamton Devils
- Bears Blast Sound Tigers, 4-1 - Hershey Bears
- Oilers Assign Jones to Bakersfield - Bakersfield Condors
- Game #37 Preview: Tucson vs. Texas - Tucson Roadrunners
- Eric Comrie Named CCM/AHL Player of the Week - Manitoba Moose
- Griffins to Support Federal Workers with Free Ticket Offer - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Manitoba's Eric Comrie Named CCM/AHL Player of the Week - AHL
- Forward Matt Luff Assigned to Ontario - Ontario Reign
- Heat Host Colorado for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Matinee - Stockton Heat
- Thunderbirds Look to Remain Unbeaten All Time vs. Rocket Monday Night - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Moose Reassign Cederholm, Release Mingo - Manitoba Moose
- Phantoms Add Two Players to the Roster - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Game Preview: Bears at Sound Tigers, 1 p.m. - Hershey Bears
- Sound Tigers Host Hershey at 1 p.m. - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
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
- Bridgeport silenced despite 39 shots on goal in Game 2 setback
- Sound Tigers Host Hershey in Game 2 Tonight
- Bellows scores twice, including game-winner in double overtime
- Sound Tigers Begin Playoff Journey Tonight
- Jobst Agrees to Amateur Tryout with Bridgeport