SOUND TIGERS OVERPOWER BEARS, 7-4
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders' AHL affiliate, extended their winning streak to five games and home unbeaten-in-regulation streak to six games behind five power play goals in a 7-4 win over the Hershey Bears Wednesday.
"Our power-play was really going for us tonight," Sound Tigers coach Dave Baseggio said. "Moving our feet opened up lanes for us to make plays and we scored on most of our chances."
First period scoring started when Rob Collins netted his 16th goal of the season on the power-play, one timing a shot past Hershey netminder Frederic Cassivi on assists from Jeff Hamilton and Joel Bouchard giving the Sound Tigers the early 1-0 lead. Collins and Hamilton both extended point streaks to six games on the play.
The Bears evened the score at 1-1 when Dean Steckel scored a shorthanded goal, his tenth goal of the season, unassisted at 4:43 of the first. Hershey took the 2-1 lead at 7:11 when Jean-Francois Fortin picked up a power-play tally assisted by Boyd Kane and Mike Green.
The Sound Tigers went back on the power play when Dean Arsene took a tripping penalty at 9:06. Wyatt Smith then redirected his 11th goal of the season on the power-play from a shot by Bouchard at 9:20 evening the score at 2-2. Hamilton picked up his second assist of the game. However, the Bears would counter just 24 seconds later taking the 3-2 lead into the second period on Tomas Fleischmann's unassisted tally, his 18th goal of the season.
In the middle frame, the Sound Tigers answered Hershey with four straight goals. Bouchard tied the score at 3-3 with his fourth goal of the season at 5:57 on assists from Matt Koalska and Masi Marjamaki. Smith then tallied his second goal of the game and 12th of the season on the power play assisted by Hamilton and Collins, regaining the lead for the Sound Tigers at 4-3.
Koalska followed with his 16th marker of the season at 11:08 when he wristed a screened shot over the shoulder of Cassivi on assists from Steve Regier and Chris Thompson making the score 5-3. Robert Nilsson upped the lead to 6-3 when he cranked home the Sound Tigers' fourth power play marker, his eighth goal of the season, 5:30 after Koalska's goal off helpers from Bruno Gervais and Allan Rourke.
"It was definately one of our best periods of the season," Smith said. "We did the little things right that allowed us to capitalize on our chances. We made quick outlets from our zone which turned into scoring chances."
The final period's scoring started with Steve Regier collecting his tenth goal of the season, the fifth power-play goal for the Sound Tigers, assisted by Nilsson and Sean Bergenheim, 1:23 into the frame, extending Bergenheim's assist streak to four games and giving the Sound Tigers the 7-3 lead.
The Bears would add one more goal by Fortin, his second of the game and fifth of the season, on a delayed penalty at 7:11 assisted by Eric Fehr to close out the scoring at 7-4.
Wade Dubielewicz made 24 saves on 28 Hershey shots while Cassivi finished with 23 saves on 30 Sound Tiger shots. The Sound Tigers were 5 for 9 on the power play and 2 for 3 on the penalty kill.
Bouchard was named first star with a goal and two assists, Hamilton the second with three assists and Smith the third with two goals.
The Sound Tigers will visit the Springfield Falcons this Friday at 7:35 p.m. They will return to Bridgeport's Arena at Harbor Yard to host the Portland Pirates this Saturday at 7:05 p.m. and the Norfolk Admirals this Sunday at 1:05 p.m. All Sound Tigers games are web-cast live at www.soundtigers.com. Fans can also watch all AHL games live on the B2 Networks.
This Saturday will be knock hockey stick giveaway for the first 1,500 fans age 14 and under. This Sunday will be "Diamond in the Rough Day". Information about Sound Tigers ticket packages and promotions is available by calling 203-334-GOAL or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.