Wahlstrom Scores in Return to BridgeportNov 9, 2019
The Bridgeport Islanders (3-8-2-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, failed to earn their third straight win on Saturday night, suffering a 4-1 loss to the Providence Bruins (8-4-0-1) at Webster Bank Arena.
Oliver Wahlstrom scored Bridgeport’s lone goal in his return from the Islanders, nudging home a cross-ice pass from Otto Koivula in the third period. Other than that blemish, Bruins netminder Max Lagace (6-1-1) was tough on the Sound Tigers for the second straight meeting. He made 31 saves on 32 shots for his fourth straight win overall.
A bad turnover early in the game led to the Bruins first goal at 4:30 of the opening period. As the Sound Tigers tried to break out of their own end, Brendan Woods stole the puck and found rookie Scott Conway. He directed a quick pass to Joona Koppanen, who netted his second goal of the season to make it 1-0.
Providence extended its lead with a power-play tally in the final two minutes of the first period, which served as the game winner. With Thomas Hickey (back in the lineup for the first time since Oct. 11) serving a holding penalty, Alex Petrovic hammered a slap shot from the blue line that Christopher Gibson turned back, but Brendan Gaunce forced home the rebound for his fourth of the season.
The period was well paced with both teams pressing aggressively on the forecheck. Providence outshot Bridgeport 9-6 after 20 minutes of play.
The Sound Tigers began to pressure Lagace much more frequently in the middle frame, outshooting the Bruins 21-8, but couldn’t find the back of the cage. Gibson also had a highlight-reel save on Robert Lantosi’s breakaway to keep it 2-0.
However, the Bruins struck late in the second period with Petrovic’s second goal of the season. Petrovic entered the zone and sent a chance to the front of the net where a juicy rebound presented itself. Petrovic slipped it across the goal line with Jack Studnicka also at the doorstep to make it 3-0 at the 16:30 mark.
The Sound Tigers finally solved Lagace at 7:48 of the third period when Koivula delivered a nifty pass across the slot to Wahlstrom, who scored from the back post on a near open net. It was his first goal since Oct. 6 against Hartford after a nine-game stint with the Islanders. Despite a valiant effort, Providence sealed its 4-1 win with an empty netter from Studnicka at 18:35.
Gibson (2-2-2) finished the night with 20 saves on 23 shots, while Bridgeport went 0-for-5 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Providence leads the season series 2-0-0-0 prior to a rematch on Monday afternoon at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers wrap up a five-game homestand tomorrow afternoon with a 3 p.m. puck drop against the Belleville Senators at Webster Bank Arena. It’s Princess Day and great seats are still on sale! Fans can also follow all of the live action via the and , beginning with the pre-game show at 2:45 p.m.