Sound Tigers Pull out OT Win over PackDec 29, 2018
Travis St. Denis’ breakaway goal with 33.8 seconds left in overtime gave the Bridgeport Sound Tigers a 3-2 win over the Wolf Pack Saturday night at the XL Center.
Otto Koivula sent St. Denis in alone on Wolf Pack goaltender Dustin Tokarski, after Hartford’s Matt Beleskey had a shot blocked in the Sound Tiger end, and St. Denis was able to put the winning shot past Tokarski’s stick side.
That was after Tokarski had made five saves in the overtime, and he finished with 29 stops in the game.
“Dustin played real strong and had some key saves,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “He’s giving us a chance to play some hockey, and that’s what every coach wants.
“I'm disappointed we didn't get the two full points obviously, but I think we played a good game. I thought we were really aggressive, putting pressure on pucks, a physical style.”
The Wolf Pack outshot the visitors 13-6 in the first period, but came out of it down 1-0, thanks to a goal 1:34 in by Kieffer Bellows.
After Parker Wotherspoon shot the puck in, Ryan Bourque passed it out of the right-wing corner to Bellows headed down the slot, and his quick shot got by the catching glove of Tokarski.
That was the only offense for more than two full periods, before Chris Bigras finally got the Wolf Pack on the scoreboard 1:41 into the third. Just as a penalty to Vinni Lettieri was ending, Lias Andersson sent a quick pass to Gabriel Fontaine in the Bridgeport zone, and he found Bigras for a one-timer from the blue line that went off of Sound Tiger goaltender Jeremy Smith’s catching mitt and into the net.
Bridgeport regained the lead briefly at 9:28, when St. Denis and Koivula broke into the Wolf Pack zone on a 2-on-1 and Koivula fired a shot past Tokarski’s stick side, but the Wolf Pack knotted things back up only 17 seconds later.
Bobby Butler netted his sixth of the year at 9:45 to make it 2-2, taking a cross-ice pass from Bigras and beating Smith with a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle.
“Butler did a good job, staying loose and being ready for that shot,” Bigras said.
“Bobby Butler is an offensive player, and I thought he was all over the whole game.” McCambridge added. “Bobby and Chris have been playing really well together, and that’s working for us.”
The Sound Tigers outshot the Wolf Pack 6-2 in overtime, and Tokarski stopped a pair of breakaways before St. Denis’ winner.
“It would have been nice to give Tokarski the OT win,” Butler said. “They’re a good team, we just need to be ready for tomorrow.”
The Wolf Pack are right back at the XL Center on Sunday, hosting the Springfield Thunderbirds at 3:00 PM. That is another chance to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Family Value Pack”, which includes two tickets, two hot dogs and two sodas, all for just $40.
Tickets for all 2018-19 Wolf Pack 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. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $13 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2018-19 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, or click here to request more info.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3 (OT) at Hartford Wolf Pack 2
Saturday, December 29, 2018 - XL Center
Bridgeport 1 0 1 1 - 3
Hartford 0 0 2 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Bridgeport, Bellows 9 (R. Bourque, Hitchcock), 1:34. Penalties-Lettieri Hfd (tripping), 5:25; St. Denis Bri (hooking), 13:23.
2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Hajek Hfd (tripping), 1:49; Leedahl Hfd (tripping), 9:03; Lettieri Hfd (tripping), 19:36.
3rd Period-2, Hartford, Bigras 3 (Fontaine, Beleskey), 1:41. 3, Bridgeport, Koivula 9 (St. Denis, C. Bourque), 9:28. 4, Hartford, Butler 6 (Bigras, O'Gara), 9:45. Penalties-Helgeson Bri (cross-checking), 6:10; St. Denis Bri (misconduct - abuse of officials), 9:28.
OT Period-5, Bridgeport, St. Denis 9 (Koivula), 4:26. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 6-12-8-6-32. Hartford 13-6-12-2-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 0 / 4; Hartford 0 / 2.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Smith 11-5-1 (33 shots-31 saves). Hartford, Tokarski 7-4-2 (32 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Michael Duco (82), Dan Kelly (55).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Luke Galvin (2).