ahl Sound Tigers fall to Marlies in OT
BRIDGEPORT — You could look at this as a tie between two pretty good AHL teams, with Toronto getting the extra point in a crowd-pleaser tiebreaker, beating the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-1 in overtime Wednesday night at Webster Bank Arena.
You could look at it as a lost opportunity, too, for Bridgeport, which had chances to win in regulation, which kept a pretty good offense quiet for two periods in another good start by goalie Jeremy Smith.
“I thought we played pretty well for the majority of the game. We had a couple of spurts where maybe we got back on our heels a little bit,” said Bridgeport forward Matt Lorito, who created several chances.
“After they scored, we kind of sat back a bit, gave them a little bit too much space, but I think we outplayed them for large parts of the game. We had some chances we didn’t convert on; myself, I had some chances I’d like to have back. We got a point. Three-on-three can go either way.”
Adam Brooks ended it midway through overtime, chipping the puck ahead of Sebastian Aho and catching Smith in between going out for the puck and sitting back for a shot.
So it was one point for the Sound Tigers, shrinking their magic number to make the playoffs to 13 points. They are three points ahead of third-place Hershey in the Atlantic Division with 11 games remaining.
The Marlies scored their regulation-time goal 2:01 into the third period, just as a five-on-three turned into a five-on-four.
“They got their goal,” Aho said, “and we kind of went away a little from what made us successful the first two periods and gave away more chances.
“All in all, pretty good game. That’s two good teams battling.”
Bridgeport lost centerman Tanner Fritz, recalled to the New York Islanders, before the game.
Still, the Sound Tigers drove play for much of the first period; a line of Lorito, Mike Sislo and Kieffer Bellows spent most of the period in the offensive end, and other lines weren’t far behind. The second period wasn’t bad, either, and Aho went to the net to finish off a rush. The Marlies came on in the third.
“I thought the game was a hard-fought game by both sides. I thought it was a good hockey game,” Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson said. “At times the referees get involved, and they should probably stay out of it. That’s the biggest thing. But I thought our guys competed.”
The Sound Tigers went 0-for-5 on the power play and are on a season-long 0-for-24 skid; it might’ve ended at 0-for-18 on Sunday, but a Jeff Kubiak goal came one second after a power play ended.
“At the end of the day, it was a well-played hockey game,” Thompson said.
“I think we were pretty tight the first two periods, and then the third I thought we got a little sloppy. And they pushed back. That’s one of the highest-scoring teams in the American Hockey League, and we held them to one goal. Well, two.”
Attendance was 4,888.
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MARLIES 2, SOUND TIGERS 1 (OT)
TORONTO0 0 1 1—2
BRIDGEPORT0 1 0 0—1
First Period — No scoring. Penalties — Duszak, Tor (holding), 9:51.
Second Period — 1, Bridgeport, Aho 7 (Bernier, Koivula), 1:09. Penalties — Rubins, Tor (high-sticking), 9:41; Molino, Tor (hooking), 15:31.
Third Period — 2, Toronto, Timashov 12 (Bracco, Brooks), 2:01 (pp). Penalties — Casto, Bpt (cross-checking), 1:30; Bracco, Tor (holding), 5:51; MacMaster, Tor (holding), 11:20; MacMaster, Tor (unsportsmanlike conduct-diving), 14:49; Aho, Bpt (slashing), 14:49.
Overtime — 3, Toronto, Brooks 19 (Mueller, Sandin), 2:38. Penalties — None.
Missed penalty shot — MacMaster, Tor, 18:03 second.
Shots on goal — Toronto 5-5-15-2—27. Bridgeport 9-10-10-2—31.
Power play opportunities — Toronto 1 of 2, Bridgeport 0 of 5.
Goaltenders — Toronto, Hutchinson 15-6-5 (31 shots-30 saves). Bridgeport, Smith 19-10-4 (27-25).
Attendance — 4,888. Referees — Deckard, K.Anderson. Linesmen — K.Briganti, N.Briganti.