Sound Tigers Fall To Penguins in OvertimeDec 19, 2018
The Bridgeport Islanders (17-8-4-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, led by two on two different occasions Wednesday night, but suffered a 4-3 overtime loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (15-11-3-1) at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
The setback snapped Bridgeport's three-game win streak and dropped the club to 2-1-1-0 against the Penguins this season, but the Sound Tigers earned one point and moved into sole possession of second place in the AHL standings (39 points in 30 games).
Michael Dal Colle, Travis St. Denis and Mitch Vande Sompel each scored for Bridgeport, while Christopher Gibson (9-3-4) made 28 saves and extended his personal unbeaten in regulation streak to 10 games (6-0-4). The Sound Tigers played without Quinnipiac University product and 2017 All-Star Devon Toews, who was recalled by the Islanders for the first time in his career earlier in the day.
Dal Colle picked up right where he left off last weekend and scored his sixth goal on six consecutive shots to put the Sound Tigers out front just 70 seconds into the contest. The reigning CCM/AHL Player of the Week put Bridgeport on top first for the seventh straight game when he handed the puck to Chris Bourque in the right circle and received the return pass in front, opening up space for a right-to-left move against goaltender Tristan Jarry. Dal Colle tucked a forehand shot inside the left post and converted his team-leading 15th goal of the season to make it 1-0.
St. Denis followed with his eighth tally of the year to double the Sound Tigers' lead at 5:27 of the first period. Jeff Kubiak gathered Seth Helgeson's lead pass and skated down the left wing before cutting in towards the crease. Kubiak lost his balance near the blue paint and the puck slid free to St. Denis, where he fired it above Jarry's blocker to make it 2-0.
The Sound Tigers outshot the Penguins 10-5 in the opening period and controlled much of the early going. However, the middle frame was less ideal as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton bounced back and cut its deficit to one with Ethan Prow's first of two power-play goals. Prow made it 2-1 at the 8:53 mark when he cashed in on Otto Koivula's boarding minor penalty more than a minute prior. The Penguins defenseman camped out at the blue line and launched a slap shot through traffic that beat Gibson's glove.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton gradually increased its pressure throughout the third period and scored two of the next three goals, outshooting Bridgeport 12-5 in the process. Vande Sompel got the Sound Tigers lone tally at the 8:30 mark when he collected a pass from Koivula and sniped a shot past Jarry's blocker. It was his third goal of the season to make it 3-1. All three of Bridgeport's tallies came at even strength.
Linus Olund turned the tides again inside the final six minutes with his fourth goal of the season at 14:43. Jeff Taylor settled Jarrett Burton's pass at the right point and stepped into a wrist shot that Olund deflected down between the circles and under Gibson's glove. Nearly three minutes later, Prow again capitalized on a slap shot from the parameter, this time on Vande Sompel's cross-checking penalty at 17:59 for his second power-play strike.
In overtime, former Sound Tiger Kevin Czuczman joined an odd-man rush in transition and scored his third goal of the season to end the game at the 2:24 mark. His hustle across the blue line made it three-on-one, and Czuczman received a pass from Sam Lafferty before beating Gibson's glove with a forehand shot. Lafferty ended the night with three points (all assists) to pace the Penguins.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot Bridgeport 32-23.
Headed South: The Sound Tigers continue their three-game road trip this Friday with a 7 p.m. matchup against the first-place Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C. Fans can follow all of the live action online via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
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).
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 [email protected]