Bridgeport ends Pack streak of nine straight with a point
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5, Hartford Wolf Pack 1
By Meghan O’Reilly
Hartford, CT, December 23, 2017 – A Hartford Wolf Pack streak of nine straight games without a regulation loss ended Saturday at the XL Center, in a 5-1 loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Christopher Gibson came within 1:28 of a shutout in the Bridgeport net, making 22 saves, and Casey Bailey and Devon Toews had a goal and an assist apiece. Ryan Sproul had the only goal for the Wolf Pack, who were 6-0-1-2 in their previous nine games.
The first period was plagued by a plethora of penalties. The game started with a fight between Peter Holland and Travis St. Denis just 2:31 in, then Anthony DeAngelo and Kyle Burroughs also dropped the gloves at 13:05. Sebastian Aho of the Sound Tigers scored on a power play at 18:59, the only goal in the first and Aho’s ninth of the season.
“They capitalized there in the first and it’s hard to get momentum back when you lose it,” Wolf Pack captain Joe Whitney said. “The stretch we’ve been on for the last month or so, we’ve found our identity. It got away from us a little here tonight.”
The Sound Tigers added two more goals in the second period, 1:38 apart.
At 13:56, Casey Bailey made it a 2-0 Bridgeport lead, finding a loose puck and ripping it past Hartford goaltender Alexandar Georgiev, after a Michael Dal Colle shot was blocked.
Then, at 15:34, Ross Johnston scored on a breakaway, set up by Toews.
Connor Jones upped the Sound Tiger lead to 4-0 at 12:52 of the third, coming out of the penalty box to jump on a loose puck. Jones had Georgiev all to himself, and finished the play with a shot to the glove side.
The Wolf Pack prevented a Gibson shutout at 18:32 of the third, as Sproul found the range on a shot from high in the slot, assisted by Gabriel Fontaine and Vinni Lettieri.
The Sound Tigers restored the four-goal margin with 24.9 seconds left, with Toews firing a shot from the top of the right circle and beating Georgiev on the stick side.
“You have to make sure you’re sharp,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said of his team. “Those opportunities are where you have to make sure you’re aware of what’s going on behind you.”
“Not every game is going to be a free flowing game,” Whitney added. “But that just means to focus and stay in the game. We’ll learn from it tonight and recharge the batteries over break and be ready to go.”
The Wolf Pack are now off until this Friday night, December 29, when they will travel to Wilkes-Barre, PA to take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Faceoff is 7:05 PM, and all of the action can be heard live on News Radio 1410 WPOP, and on-line at www.newsradio1410.com and iHeartRadio. Video streaming is available at www.ahllive.com.
The next home game for the Wolf Pack is next Saturday, December 30, when they host the Springfield Thunderbirds in a 7:00 contest. The first 2,000 fans into that game will take home a Wolf Pack player trading card set, presented by CM Concessions.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2017-18 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5 at Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Saturday, December 23, 2017 – XL Center
Bridgeport 1 2 2 – 5
Hartford 0 0 1 – 1
1st Period-1, Bridgeport, Aho 9 (Bailey, Fritz), 18:59 (PP). Penalties-St. Denis Bri (fighting), 2:31; Holland Hfd (slashing, fighting), 2:31; Aho Bri (slashing), 6:11; DeAngelo Hfd (slashing), 10:36; Eansor Bri (hooking), 11:23; Burroughs Bri (fighting), 13:05; DeAngelo Hfd (fighting), 13:05; Aho Bri (hooking), 14:15; Whitney Hfd (tripping), 17:50; Johnston Bri (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:50.
2nd Period-2, Bridgeport, Bailey 8 (Dal Colle), 13:56. 3, Bridgeport, Johnston 2 (Toews), 15:34. Penalties-Holland Hfd (slashing), 9:45.
3rd Period-4, Bridgeport, C. Jones 3 (Eansor), 12:52. 5, Hartford, Sproul 3 (Fontaine, Lettieri), 18:32. 6, Bridgeport, Toews 8 (Dal Colle, B. Holmstrom), 19:35. Penalties-Aho Bri (hooking), 2:16; C. Jones Bri (slashing), 10:45.
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 13-10-7-30. Hartford 4-9-10-23.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 1 / 4; Hartford 0 / 6.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Gibson 10-6-1 (23 shots-22 saves). Hartford, Georgiev 4-8-5 (30 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Peter Schlittenhardt (12), Kenny Anderson (66).
Linesmen-Robert St. Lawrence (10), Derek Wahl (46).