Recap - Thunderbirds 4, Sound Tigers 3
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (December 9, 2017) - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (12-9-1-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, nearly battled all the way back from a three-goal deficit in the third period on Saturday, but came up short in a 4-3 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds (10-16-1-0) at the MassMutual Center.
Devon Toews and Steve Bernier each scored once and added an assist as Bridgeport suffered its first setback to Springfield this season (2-1-0-0).
Maxim Mamin put the home team on top just 1:24 into the first period when he collected a pass from Curtis Valk and walked to the top of the right hash marks. There, Mamin turned and filtered a wrist shot inside the right post and past Christopher Gibson's left leg to give Springfield a 1-0 advantage.
Tanner Fritz continued his hot streak at 11:41 of the opening frame and tied the contest at 1-1 with his eighth goal of the season. The third-year forward began and finished the scoring chance, creating the opportunity by forcing a turnover in the neutral zone and skating the puck over the blue line. That set up a 2-on-1 and Fritz snapped a shot over goaltender Samuel Montembeault's glove and in from the right circle. Fritz now has a point in six straight road games and a team-leading 25 points this season (eight goals, 17 assists).
The middle frame belonged to the Thunderbirds as Springfield scored twice in the period and opened up a 3-1 advantage. Alexandre Grenier struck first at the 10:03 mark by lowering his shoulder and charging towards the crease, where he forced a shot under Gibson's glove. It was Grenier's seventh tally of the year. Jayce Hawryluk followed seven minutes later with his fourth goal of the season and first of two on the night. Thomas Schemitsch set it up with a pin-point cross-ice pass from the right circle, which found Hawryluk alone at the left post for a one-time tally at 17:03.
Hawryluk posted his second goal of the night just 51 seconds into the third period and extended Springfield's lead to 4-1. Chase Balisy charged through the right circle and worked his way to the crease, where he handed off a pass to Hawryluk for a tap in at the back door. It was Hawryluk's fifth goal of the season.
The matchup turned chippy at the 4:24 mark when Ross Johnston, Bobby Farnham and Hawryluk all came together in the Sound Tigers' zone following a whistle. Several shoves and punches were thrown and when order was restored, Johnston and Farnham were each given game misconducts. Johnston finished the evening with a career-high 39 penalty minutes.
Not to be denied, the Sound Tigers stormed back in the third period to make it close. Devon Toews cut Bridgeport's deficit to a pair at 9:42 of the final frame with the only power-play goal of the contest. With Henrik Haapala in the box for roughing, Steve Bernier provided relentless pressure against Springfield's back line and after a few chances in front, he gathered the puck below the goal line. The veteran forward proceeded to center a pass for Toews at the doorstep, where the defenseman hammered it home for his sixth goal of the season - exceeding his total from a year ago.
Bernier got Bridgeport to within one at 17:42 of the third period as he capitalized on a 6-on-5 attack with the Sound Tigers' net empty. Toews and Travis St. Denis teamed up to find Bernier in the low slot, where the latter opened up and guided a shot past Montembeault's left leg. It was his 10th goal of the season - tied for the team lead.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Bridgeport also outshot Springfield 27-26, while Christopher Gibson (8-5-0) made 22 saves on 26 shots, but could not extend his personal winning streak to six games. On the flip side, Montembeault (4-10-1) stopped 24 shots and erased a four-game losing streak.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers host the Rochester Americans at Webster Bank Arena tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. It will mark the first of four meetings between Bridgeport and Rochester this season. Fans can follow all of the live action on the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHL Live, beginning with the pre-game show at 2:45 p.m.
Collect Them All: The first of four bobblehead giveaways this season will take place on Saturday, Dec. 16 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Make sure to be there when doors open at 6 p.m. as the first 2,500 fans will receive a Christmas "Santa" version of the Sound Tigers' mascot, Storm, courtesy of Newtown Savings Bank. Tickets are available now. Other bobbleheads in this year's four-part series include Devon Toews (Jan. 20), former Sound Tiger and current New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson (Feb. 25), and Connor Jones (Apr. 8).
Guarantee Your Seats: Season tickets and flex plans are on sale now for the 2017-18 campaign, offering the greatest savings and ultimate flexibility of all ticket packages. Pick between a full-season, 20-game, 15-game or 10-game plan and you'll also be entitled to exclusive benefits, including the ticket holder exchange policy, which means any unused tickets can be traded for future games. Seating options are broken down into six different pricing sections, giving you the flexibility to fit Sound Tigers' hockey into any kind of budget. Please contact Brad Dworin at 203-345-4813 or via mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to guarantee your seats.
About the Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Founded in 2001, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Hockey Club is the top minor league affiliate of the New York Islanders. Don't miss your chance to take part in the family fun entertainment happening every home game at Webster Bank Arena. For further information on ticket or sponsorship opportunities, call our office at (203) 345-2300 or e-mail mailto:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep up with the latest Sound Tigers news on ff7a0f94ac1577fb9da5e Facebook and on 9be6b2669db68bc31fb6d Twitter. For more team information, log on to 7ccbfc0d2afcc26863e45 soundtigers.com.
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