The Bridgeport Islanders, American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, outlasted the Providence Bruins in an eight-round shootout to earn a 2-1 victory in their final trip of the season to the New England Sports Center on Thursday.
With the win, Bridgeport (7-13-2-0) pushed its unbeaten in regulation streak to five games (4-0-1-0) and defeated the Bruins (14-6-1-1) for the second straight meeting. It was also the Sound Tigers’ third straight victory on the road.
Felix Bibeau scored his first professional goal at 10:01 of the opening frame to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead, which they carried all the way into the third period. Cole Bardreau settled the puck behind the Bruins’ goal line and centered it for Bibeau, who was left uncovered in the slot and capitalized. He became the sixth Bridgeport player to score his first pro goal this season, joining Samuel Bolduc, Bode Wilde, Kyle MacLean, Blade Jenkins and Cole Coskey.
Providence nearly tied the game on a delayed penalty in the final four minutes of the first, but Samuel Asselin’s redirection on a drive from Cooper Zech was called back due to a high stick. The Bruins also came up empty on the ensuing power play from Erik Brown’s interference minor.
The Bruins outshot Bridgeport 12-10 in the first period and 11-7 in the second, but the Sound Tigers took their 1-0 lead into the third where Paul Carey evened the score less than one minute in. Shortly after Dmytro Timashov was called for tripping, Cameron Hughes ripped a left-wing shot off of Ken Appleby’s pads and Paul Carey knocked home the rebound for his third goal in four games. It was his fourth tally of the season overall, which came just 37 seconds into the period.
Appleby (4-2-0) was perfect after that and recorded his third win in his last four starts.
The contest remained tied through regulation and the five-minute overtime, providing both teams with their first shootout opportunity of the year. Timashov, Bibeau, Jenkins and Wilde each scored for the Sound Tigers, while Appleby made five saves in the marathon shootout session.
The Sound Tigers finished the afternoon 0-for-4 on the power play, but 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. Providence lost for the fourth time in five games and has scored just one goal in each of those setbacks.
Next Time Out: The two clubs will meet again next Monday, May 3rd in a 1 p.m. rematch at Webster Bank Arena. It will be the Sound Tigers’ home finale and their 12th of 12 meetings against the Boston Bruins’ affiliate. Fans can follow all of the live action via AHLTV and the Sound Tigers Radio Network, beginning with the pre-game show at 12:45 p.m.