Sound Tigers Earn Shootout Win in Home FinaleMay 3, 2021
The Bridgeport Islanders (8-13-2-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, earned a 4-3 shootout win against the Providence Bruins (14-6-2-2) in their home finale at Webster Bank Arena on Monday.
Bridgeport went to overtime for a third straight contest and past 65 minutes for the second straight game, outlasting the Bruins in a six-round shootout after last Thursday’s matchup in Marlborough went eight rounds. The victory also extended the Sound Tigers’ unbeaten in regulation streak to a season-high six games (5-0-1).
Islanders prospect Otto Koivula scored the winning goal with a highlight-reel backhand shot that sailed just under the crossbar and over the shoulder of Providence netminder Kyle Keyser. Blade Jenkins also recorded his second goal in as many shootout attempts, while Jakub Skarek (3-8-1) made 30 saves between regulation and overtime. He also stopped five of six shots in the ensuing skills competition.
Coming into Monday’s tilt, Cole Bardreau led the Sound Tigers in goals and points, and he added another tally to each of those categories with his fourth multi-point effort of the season. He scored his team-leading 10th goal just 1:31 into the game on a rebound created by Felix Bibeau’s effort from the doorstep. Bibeau cut in from the left wing and tried to beat Keyser low, but his shot was kicked back to Bardreau for the finish.
And with that tally, Bardreau extended his scoring streak to a career-high seven games (four goals, four assist) and also pushed Tom Kuhnhackl’s point streak to four games (two goals, three assists). Bardreau (one goal, one assist), Kuhnhackl (one goal, one assist) and Bibeau (two assists) ended the afternoon with two points each.
It’s the sixth time in Bridgeport’s last seven games that they’ve scored the first goal and the Sound Tigers improved to 5-4-1-0 when doing so in 2020-21.
Happening shortly after Bardreau made it 1-0, the Bruins rallied back and tied the game with Cameron Hughes’ fifth goal of the season prior to the first intermission. Mike Cornell attempted to pass the puck behind his own net, but it hit the skate of the referee and angled to the slot where Hughes beat Skarek’s glove at 16:13.
Fast hockey was on full display in the opening 20 minutes, but things drastically slowed in the second and Koivula scored the only tally of the middle frame to put Bridgeport ahead 2-1. Samuel Bolduc wound up at the left point and ripped a slap shot at Keyser’s pads, which created a rebound for Koivula’s second goal of the season.
Period three saw three combined goals, but the Bruins scored twice to send the game past regulation. Brady Lyle’s seventh tally of the season came just 34 seconds in while Robert Lantosi’s team-leading ninth goal of the year forced overtime in the final five minutes. Tom Kuhnhackl also collected his fourth of the season at 3:08 of the third period. The Sound Tigers finished the afternoon 0-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. Providence outshot Bridgeport 33-31.
Season Finale: The Sound Tigers finish their 24-game schedule tomorrow afternoon with a 1 p.m. matchup against the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center. Fans can follow all of the live action via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 12:45 p.m.