Special Teams Powers Bridgeport to 3-2 WinFeb 25, 2021
Arnaud Durandeau scored the game-winning goal in the final five minutes on Thursday as the Bridgeport Islanders, American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, defeated the Providence Bruins 3-2 at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass.
It was a hard-nosed, come-from-behind win for the Sound Tigers (2-4-0-0), who trailed entering the third period but scored twice on the power play to beat Providence (4-2-0-0) for the first time this season. Simon Holmstrom added one goal and one assist, while Tanner Fritz recorded his first goal of the season - Bridgeport’s league-leading third shorthanded goal in six games (tied with Chicago).
Brady Lyle scored his second pro goal and his second in as many contests to put Providence ahead 1-0 at 8:29 of the opening period. Zach Senyshyn and Paul Carey each collected an assist on the even-strength goal that beat C.J. Motte in his AHL season debut, and his first AHL game since Feb. 17, 2019.
That lead didn’t last long though as the Sound Tigers battled back and knotted the score at 1-1 less than two minutes later. With Parker Wotherspoon in the box for interference, Grant Hutton broke up a Bruins’ power-play opportunity and sprung a 2-on-1 rush the other way. Tom Kuhnhackl found Fritz on the right wing and Fritz snapped a shot past Dan Vladar’s glove to tie it shorthanded at 10:07.
Joona Koppanen made it 2-1 Providence at the 12:01 mark with his third goal of the season, cashing in on his 23rd birthday. Josiah Didier sent a pass to Koppanen at the high slot and the Bruins forward stepped into a blast that beat Motte’s glove. Matt Filipe received the secondary assist on the even-strength goal.
The contest remained 2-1 for nearly 35 minutes, but the Sound Tigers continued to earn chances and outplay the Bruins in the second and third periods. Holmstrom eventually tied the game on the power play with his second goal of the season 8:21 into the third. With Pavel Shen in the box for hooking, Bode Wilde set up Holmstrom at the right point and the former first-round draft pick sent a shot through Fritz’s screen.
Durandeau gave the Sound Tigers their first lead of the afternoon and notched the difference-maker at 15:26 of the third period, finishing off Jobst’s centering feed for his first goal of the season. It also came on the power play with Paul Carey in the box for tripping just 20 seconds earlier.
Bridgeport finished the game 2-for-4 on the power play and a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Motte (1-0-0) stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced to snap the Bruins’ three-game win streak, while Vladar (1-2-0) made 27 saves.
The game also included one fight when Felix Bibeau and Alex-Olivier Voyer dropped the gloves at 17:11 of the first period.
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