BRIDGEPORT, CT - Despite losing an hour of sleep due to daylight savings time, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (37-21-2-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, saw their offense ignite for five goals on 36 shots against the Hartford Wolf Pack (21-35-3-2) on Sunday en route to a 5-2 victory at Webster Bank Arena.
Bracken Kearns scored for the second straight day, giving him 500 professional points, while Darren Nowick netted his first AHL goal in his second game. Jon Landry, Michael Dal Colle and Andrew Rowe also found the back of the net, and Devon Toews and Josh Winquist each recorded two assists.
Jaroslav Halak (16-5-3) made 18 saves between the pipes and also found the score sheet with an assist in the first period. In addition, Bridgeport was strong on special teams, scoring a season-high three power-play goals and going 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.
The Sound Tigers struck first with the only goal of the opening period, a power-play tally in the final 67 seconds. With Tommy Hughes in the box for roughing, Winquist connected a backhand pass to Landry in the high slot, where the veteran defenseman walked into a slap shot and beat Mackenzie Skapski glove side at 18:53.
Dal Colle doubled Bridgeport’s lead with another power-play goal at 7:55 of the second. Following a Chris Summers’ minor for roughing, Winquist traveled through the high slot to the left circle where he wristed a high shot on Skapksi. The third-year netminder made the initial save, but the rebound tricked back through the slot where Dal Colle cleaned it up for his 13th goal of the season. Winquist and Halak earned assists on the play.
Just 53 seconds later, Kearns put the Sound Tigers on top by three with his team-leading 21st goal this season, which was also his 500th pro point. Toews created the chance when he squared up at the blue line and hammered a one-timer on goal, which was steered aside by Skapski to Kearns, allowing the veteran forward to muscle it across the goal line with a scramble in front. Toews and Kane Lafranchise assisted on the tally at the 8:48 mark.
Hartford made it 3-1 at 14:40 of the second period when Marek Hrivik capitalized on a rebound and netted his 13th goal of the season. Michael Paliotta caught a pass from Taylor Beck at the top of the right circle and wristed a shot on target. Halak made a standing save, but could not cover and Hrivik capitalized from the doorstep.
Bridgeport regained its three-goal advantage with less than two seconds remaining in the middle period courtesy of Rowe. Six seconds after Dan Catenacci received a double minor for slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct, Toews filtered a pin-point pass to Rowe at the left post, where the latter beat Skapski’s right leg for his ninth goal of the season overall.
Hartford got one back, its final goal of the game, at 6:37 of the third period when Beck completed an impressive individual effort for his 15th tally of the season. The former Sound Tiger skated the puck down the left wing, slowed in the circle and curled to the slot to wait for reinforcements. With no one available, Beck turned a wired a past Halak’s glove to make it 4-2.
The Sound Tigers capped the scoring with Nowick’s first AHL goal at 16:11 of the third. Following several key saves by Skapski and a turnover deep in the Hartford zone, Colin Markison fired a shot that was stopped again by Skapski, but Nowick flipped home the rebound.
The contest included one fight when Kyle Burroughs and Chris Summers scrapped at 7:00 of the second period. Skapski (1-8-0) made 31 saves in Hartford’s loss.
The Sound Tigers outshot the Wolf Pack 36-20.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to action on Friday with a 7:05 p.m. puck drop against the Providence Bruins at Dunkin' Donuts Center. Fans can follow all of the action online via www.ahllive.com, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. ET.
For additional details or to reserve seats for any of the 2016-17 giveaway and theme nights, please call the Sound Tigers’ front office at (203) 345-2300.
Executive suites and premium seat packages are also available by calling the team’s front office at (203) 345-4841. If you are interested in group outings with your friends, family, co-workers, or clients an unforgettable experience at a discounted rate, call the group sales hotline at (203) 345-2300 Ext. 7.
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