SOUND TIGERS ON 7-0-0-1 ROLL
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders' AHL affiliate, defeated the Wilkes- Barre/Scranton Penguins 3-1 at home Sunday, upping their unbeaten-in- regulation streak to eight games at 7-0-0-1 and their home unbeaten-in- regulation streak to seven at 6-0-0-1.
The loss was just the fourth in regulation this season for the Wilkes- Barre/Scranton. It was also the second win in as many meetings with the league's top team for the Sound Tigers, who have handed the Penguins their only two road regulation losses this season.
"We are playing a team game, and when we get that out of everyone, we're going to win," Sound Tigers head coach Dave Baseggio said. "When everyone contributes and sticks to the game plan, we're going to be a tough team to beat."
In the first period, neither team was able to take advantage of their lone power play chances, as both goalies stood strong. Sound Tigers goalie Cody Rudkowsky stopped seven shots while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton netminder Sebastien Caron made 11 saves.
"We limited their scoring chances, and the guys cleared the front of the net to allow me to see the shots," Rudkowsky said.
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead at 13:09 of the middle frame after Rico Fata five- holed Rudkowsky on a breakaway for his third goal of the year off assists from Daniel Carcillo and Andy Schneider.
The Sound Tigers answered back 3:45 later when Matt Koalska sent a cross-ice pass that David Masse let slide through to Allan Rourke who was there to knock in the power-play goal for his sixth tally of the year and even up the score at 1-1. Cole Jarrett also picked up an assist on the play.
The Sound Tigers took a 2-1 lead 5:40 into the third period when Steve Regier sent a pass on net and Joel Bouchard was there to chip in his first goal of the year. Rourke also picked up an assist.
"I saw Regier walk out from the corner with his head up so I knew to drive the net," Bouchard said. "When you're there you must read and feel the play and I was able to see the puck come over to me for the goal."
With 44.1 seconds left to play, Wyatt Smith added an empty-net goal for his ninth goal of the year off assists from Rourke and Dave Karpa to make the final score 3-1.
The Sound Tigers were 1 for 5 on the power play, 6 for 6 on the penalty kill and held the 32-27 shots on goal advantage. Rudkowsky made 31 saves to earn his second straight win and upped the Sound Tigers home win streak to five. Caron received the loss despite stopping 29 of 31 shots. The first star was Rudkowsky, the second was Rourke and the third was Bouchard.
The Sound Tigers will finish a five-game homestand when they host the Hartford Wolf Pack this Wednesday, January 11th at 7:35 p.m.