Smith makes season-high 40 saves in only trip to Toronto this season
TORONTO, Ont. - Jeremy Smith made a season-high 40 saves between regulation and overtime on Sunday, as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (36-19-5-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, earned a 3-2 shootout win against the Toronto Marlies (32-19-6-4) at Coca-Cola Coliseum.
Jeff Kubiak and Josh Ho-Sang each scored a second-period goal and Otto Koivula notched the shootout-winner, helping the Sound Tigers to their league-best 15th win past regulation (15-7).
With the victory, the Sound Tigers have won eight of their last nine games and remain six points behind the Charlotte Checkers for first place in the Atlantic Division. Bridgeport is 13 points above the cutoff line with its magic number to clinch a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs down to 18.
Both teams played a spirited first period that included 22 combined shots but no score after one, mostly due to Smith's stellar play and his denial of a penalty shot just 13:14 in. Michael Carcone was hooked back by Seth Helgeson on a breakaway and although he still got a shot off, Smith kicked it away with his left pad. A penalty shot was immediately awarded and Carcone missed the right side of the net on his attempt.
Despite the missed opportunity, Carcone put Toronto on top 1-0 midway through the second period with his 16th goal of the season. Josh Jooris found Carcone at the right hash marks for a quick wrist shot that was blocked, but it came back to Carcone who walked in front and beat Smith five-hole at 9:15.
Just over a minute later, Kubiak evened the game with his sixth goal this season at even strength. Toronto's Colin Greening attempted a cross-ice pass through his own zone that Kieffer Bellows picked off and tested goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo. The Marlies netminder knocked it down but couldn't cover, and Kubiak swept it across the goal line at the 10:26 mark.
Ho-Sang gave the Sound Tigers their first lead in the next two minutes with a breakaway tally at 11:53. The Toronto native intercepted a pass at Bridgeport's blue line and surged the other way with the Marlies in hot pursuit. At speed, Ho-Sang made a brilliant left-to-right deke and tucked a forehand shot inside the right post for his seventh goal of the season.
Toronto answered in the final 62 seconds of the middle frame to tie the game at 2-2 with Dmytro Timashov's power-play goal. With Chris Bourque in the box for goaltender interference, Jeremy Bracco sent a cross-ice pass from the right wing to the left circle where Timashov guided a shot over Smith's reaching glove for his 11th of the year.
The Marlies outshot Bridgeport 18-8 in the third period, but Smith was outstanding and kept the contest the even. In overtime, both teams had chances but couldn't break though before Bourque and Koivula each scored in the ensuing three-round shootout. Timashov had Toronto's only goal.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill, while Bridgeport also allowed a season-high 42 shots.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers conclude their five-game road trip next Saturday with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Hershey Bears at Giant Center. The series finale between the two division rivals will air across the Sound Tigers Radio Network, and may be viewed live via NHL Network and AHLTV. Pre-game coverage will begin at 6:45 p.m.
Hockey and Hops 2: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena on Sunday, Mar. 17 for a 5 p.m. puck drop against the Springfield Thunderbirds. It's "Hockey and Hops 2," featuring another pre-game craft beer tasting event starting at 2:30 p.m. For just $25, get access to the beer tasting, plus a special Sound Tigers tasting glass, a ticket to the game, and a souvenir hockey stick bottle opener. Packages are only available or by calling the Sound Tigers group sales line in advance (203-345-2300 ext. 7).
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American Hockey League Stories from March 10, 2019
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- Heat Fall in Shootout at San Jose, 5-4 - Stockton Heat
- Admirals Earn Important Point in OT Loss - Milwaukee Admirals
- Smith makes season-high 40 saves in only trip to Toronto this season - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Wolves Win Eighth Straight at Home - Chicago Wolves
- Moose Prevail over Rockford in OT - Manitoba Moose
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- Sound Tigers Face Marlies Today on NHL Network - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
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