PROVIDENCE, RI - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (19-28-5-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, saw their four-game unbeaten in regulation streak come to an end on Monday in a 3-2 loss to the Providence Bruins (29-18-3-3) at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Otto Koivula and Colin McDonald each scored in the second period, but Brendan Gaunce put the Bruins out front for good late in the middle frame. It snapped Bridgeport’s two-game win streak in the season series and dropped the Sound Tigers to 4-5-0-0 against Providence this year.
Ryan Fitzgerald put the Bruins on top at 6:45 of the first period with a rebound goal following Christopher Gibson’s pad save. Oskar Steen hustled down the right wing and snapped a shot off of Gibson’s right leg, but the second chance came back in front for Fitzgerald’s 12th goal of the season.
Cameron Hughes doubled the advantage just 1:47 into the second with his fourth goal of the season. Jack Studnicka created a turnover in the Sound Tigers’ zone and bumped the puck to Hughes for a tally in front.
Koivula got the Sound Tigers back to within one at the 5:40 mark when he capitalized for the eighth time on a beautiful shot off the post and in. Matt Lorito guided a pass to Koivula and the latter dragged the puck between the hash marks before he ripped a perfect shot past Max Lagace’s glove, off the iron, and into the cage.
McDonald’s third goal of the season drew the contest back even nearly eight minutes later. Mike Cornell settled the puck at the left point and pounded a shot towards Lagace that McDonald redirected in front to make it 2-2. Cornell got the only assist at the 14:05 mark.
However, Gaunce and the Bruins answered less than two minutes later with the eventual game-winner. Joona Koppanen and Steen teamed up to find Gaunce alone for his third goal as many games and his 14th of the year.
Shots were even in the third period, 10-10, and both goaltenders were strong. Bridgeport’s best chances came on a pair of breakaways in which Oliver Wahlstrom and Lorito were denied by Lagace.
Bridgeport finished the game 0-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Gibson (6-7-4) made 29 saves on 32 shots, while Lagace turned aside 27 chances.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers open a three-game homestand on Wednesday with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Webster Bank Arena. Fans can follow all of the live action of the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m. ET.
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