BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-2-1-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, let a late advantage slip away for the second straight game on Sunday, but collected one point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Rochester Americans (3-2-0-0) at Webster Bank Arena.
Mike Sislo and Travis St. Denis each scored for the Sound Tigers, while Jeremy Smith (1-0-1) made 15 saves on 17 shots in his home debut with Bridgeport. Victor Olofsson posted two points for Rochester and scored his second game-winning goal in as many days.
Rochester notched the first goal of the afternoon following a shift in which the Sound Tigers pinned the Amerks deep in their own zone. With just under five minutes left to play in the opening period, Alex Nylander passed the blue line, found Brendan Guhle at the point, and his shot was redirected in by Eric Cornel. It was his second goal of the season at the 15:11 mark.
Bridgeport’s two best chances in the first period came from Bellows’ stick. First, on an early power play opportunity, he deflected home a Devon Toews point shot past Wilcox, but it was ruled ‘no goal’ due to a high-stick. Then with three minutes left in the period, Bellows’ forecheck enabled a semi-breakaway opportunity, but he was unable to settle down a bouncing puck.
Wayne Simpson took a hooking penalty in the final minute of the first, which put the Sound Tigers on their second power play. It extended into the second frame and on the same man-advantage, Sislo put Bridgeport on the board by sniping a quick wrister past Wilcox’s blocker just 36 seconds in. Toews moved the puck to Bellows behind the net, who made a difficult pass through traffic and set up Sislo for the game-tying goal. It was his first of the season and his first as a Sound Tiger.
Bridgeport’s line of Tanner Fritz, Bellows and Sislo remained an offensive force throughout the bulk of the period. The trio was buzzing in the offensive zone and generated multiple scoring chances throughout the period, but the Sound Tigers’ next tally came in the late stages of the second period from a separate line.
At the 16:40 mark, Bernier cancelled out Guhle with a hard body check in the Sound Tigers’ zone, which created a 2-on-1 opportunity for Ryan Bourque and St. Denis. As Bourque crashed the net on the left side, St. Denis remained patient and beat Wilcox just under his glove to give his team a 2-1 lead.
St. Denis’ goal was his second goal in as many games, while Bernier’s assist extended his point streak to three games (two goals, one assist).
The Amerks evened the contest at 2-2 with a power-play goal of their own just 49 seconds into the third. Following Sislo’s penalty for hooking late in the second, Lawrence Pilut made a D-to-D pass to Zach Redmond, who walked to the right hash marks and fired a wrist shot over Smith’s glove. With the goal, Redmond now leads all AHL defensemen in points (two goals, five assists), while Pilut is second on the list with six points (two goals, four assists).
The next best scoring chance came off of Ryan Hitchcock’s stick, when he fielded a pass from Toews and beat Wilcox’s blocker, but rang iron with 2:30 left in regulation. It would eventually take an extra frame to settle the contest, as both teams played their first respective overtime periods of the 2018-19 campaign.
Just 1:46 into overtime, Olofsson skated down the right wing and fired a snapshot off the bar and in for his second consecutive game-winning goal.
The Sound Tigers finished 1-for-2 on both the penalty kill and the power play, while Wilcox (2-0-0) made 30 saves on 32 shots.
Next time out: The Sound Tigers return to action next Friday with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Providence Bruins at Webster Bank Arena. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster and the Webster Bank Arena Click It or Ticket Box Office. Fans can also follow all of the live action via AHLTV and the Sound Tigers Radio Network, 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 (Nov. 23 and 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), while other new headliners include Holiday Gift Weekend (Dec. 15-16) and a revamped Teddy Bear Toss (Nov. 23). View the full 2017-18 promotional schedule.
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.
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