Dal Colle's Hat Trick Boosts Bridgeport to OT WinDec 14, 2018
Michael Dal Colle completed his first professional hat trick with the game-winner in overtime on Friday, leading the Bridgeport Islanders (15-8-3-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, to a 4-3 victory against the Providence Bruins (11-12-4-0) at Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Dal Colle's third goal of the contest came on an odd-man rush at 2:05 of the extra session, set up by Chris Bourque in transition. The Islanders' fifth overall pick in 2014 now leads the Sound Tigers with 12 goals and has 21 points in 22 AHL games this season.
It was Bridgeport's second hat trick of the season after Steve Bernier scored three times on Nov. 25 against the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Tanner Fritz (one goal, two assists), Mitch Vande Sompel (two assists) and Devon Toews (two assists) also recorded a multi-point performance, while Christopher Gibson (8-3-3) made 24 saves to extend his unbeaten in regulation streak to eight games (5-0-3).
The Sound Tigers struck first for the fourth straight game when Fritz forced home a rebound at 11:50 of the opening period. Sebastian Aho set up Vande Sompel for a blistering one-timer that Dan Vladar kicked back with his left pad, but Fritz telegraphed the second chance and guided it in from below the right hash marks. It was Fritz's fourth goal of the season and second at even strength.
Anton Blidh made it 1-1 within the first minute of the second period, scoring another even-strength tally for his fourth goal this season. Joel Messner charged down the right wing and swept a pass to the crease (from the goal line extended), where Blidh nudged it past Gibson's blocker just 56 seconds in.
Dal Colle answered at the 9:16 mark to regain Bridgeport's advantage with its only power-play marker of the evening, which came at five-on-three strength. Following a delay-of-game penalty to Messner and a slashing major assessed to Austin Fyten, the Sound Tigers capitalized when Toews launched a one-timer from the high slot that Vladar denied, but Dal Colle stuffed in the rebound. Fritz also collected an assist on the play.
The pendulum continued to swing in the third period, as Peter Cehlarik evened the game at 2-2 with his fourth of the season at the 6:17 mark. It also came on the power play after Kyle Burroughs was called for hooking exactly one minute prior. Kyle Cumiskey and Anders Bjork teamed up to send the puck in deep, where Cehlarik was rewarded with a shot past Gibson's blocker.
Despite being outshot 11-4 in the final frame of regulation, Dal Colle handed the Sound Tigers a late 3-2 advantage when he scored his second tally. Fritz twisted the puck up the left-wing wall where Toews quickly wired a shot towards the Providence cage. Dal Colle screened Vladar and also deflected the blast to put Bridgeport on top at the 16:32 mark. The Sound Tigers held that lead into the final minute, before things got increasingly tense.
The Bruins pulled Vladar with just under 90 seconds left and carried a six-on-five attack into the final eight seconds, when Ryan Fitzgerald converted the Bruins' third game-tying goal at the 19:52 mark. Cumiskey slapped an initial drive from the blue line that banked off the left post, and Fitzgerald brushed home the rebound for his eighth goal of the season. The first shot, which hit the iron, was waved off by the referee, but the second effort stood to make it 3-3.
In overtime, Bourque gathered Vande Sompel's feed in the neutral zone and skated ahead with Dal Colle to his right. He looked off a shot and slipped a pass to the circle, where Dal Colle sniped home a one-timer for the 4-3 final.
Both teams finished the game 1-for-3 on the power play, while Providence outshot Bridgeport 27-17. Vladar (5-5-2) made 13 saves in his second straight loss.
Holiday Gift Weekend: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena this weekend for a doubleheader of holiday-hockey fun against two division rivals. Bridgeport will host the Springfield Thunderbirds tomorrow at 7 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. matchup against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday. With the purchase of a ticket, you're automatically entered to win some of the biggest prize giveaways this season like a VIP suite to an upcoming game, Sound Tigers apparel, team signed items, or goodies from our local partners. In addition, take pictures with Santa and Ms. Claus during each game. Great seats are on sale now!
Packed Promotional Lineup: The Sound Tigers will 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 be elated for the addition of Hockey Weekend in Connecticut (Feb. 23-24), while another new headliner includes Holiday Gift Weekend (this weekend).
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.
About the Bridgeport Islanders
Founded in 2001, the Bridgeport Islanders 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.