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Holmstrom leads comeback, Sound Tigers top Bruins in shootout

January 20, 2019

In danger of another quiet night in a month that hasn’t seen much production from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, their captain put them on his back Saturday night.

Ben Holmstrom scrapped his way to two goals at the front of the net on his first two shifts of the third period, tying the game. The Sound Tigers beat the Providence Bruins 4-3 in a shootout at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.

Holmstrom, who didn’t miss a game in his first three seasons as a Sound Tiger, was playing only his 18th out of 43 this season because of the AHL’s rule limiting teams to five veteran players in any given game.

These were the captain’s first two goals of the season. With the Bruins leading 3-1, Holmstrom jumped on a loose puck in the crease to score 25 seconds into the third period. And he followed his own shot to the net at 3:10 to tie it after defenseman Kyle Cumiskey couldn’t get a handle on the puck.

They were two of only five Bridgeport shots in the third period. Providence held the Sound Tigers (just 2-5-0-1 in January) to 15 shots through 65 minutes, no more than six in a period.

Holmstrom, Kyle Burroughs, Seth Helgeson and goalie Christopher Gibson (29 saves) killed a Chris Bourque penalty in overtime. Holmstrom swept the puck out of the zone as the penalty expired to give Bourque a breakaway out of the box.

Goalie Dan Vladar tripped Bourque as he made a move at the front of the Bruins net, but with 38.5 seconds remaining, Bridgeport couldn’t capitalize on the power play.

Attendance was 4,329 on Star Wars Night, the crowd not held down too much by an incoming winter storm.

The Sound Tigers’ scheduled home game Sunday against Hershey has been moved to Monday at 1 p.m. because of the storm. The Bears were in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Saturday.

Providence took the lead on Mark McNeill’s power-play goal in the first minute of the second period, then added to it late in the period when Zach Senyshyn snuck onto the ice behind a Bridgeport change and took Cumiskey’s stretch pass for a breakaway.

Providence’s Jordan Szwarz and Bridgeport’s Kieffer Bellows traded first-period goals.

Bridgeport veteran Stephen Gionta went to the dressing room after a penalty-kill shift early in the second period and did not return.

The Sound Tigers get veteran Steve Bernier back from a three-game suspension on Monday.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp; http://blog.ctnews.com/fornabaio

SOUND TIGERS 4, BRUINS 3 (SO)

Providence1 2 0 0 0—3

Bridgeport1 0 2 0 1—4

First Period — 1, Providence, Szwarz 14 (Kuhlman, Vaakanainen), 5:59. 2, Bridgeport, Bellows 10 (St. Denis, Fritz), 14:25. Penalties — Carey, Pro (tripping), :53; Fyten, Pro (hooking), 16:56; Eansor, Bpt (tripping), 19:37.

Second Period — 3, Providence, McNeill 6 (Carey, Cumiskey), :44 (pp). 4, Providence, Senyshyn 12 (Cumiskey), 16:27. Penalties — Casto, Bpt (hooking), 1:56; R.Bourque, Bpt (hooking), 3:19; Carey, Pro (high-sticking), 3:55.

Third Period — 5, Bridgeport, B.Holmstrom 1 (Wotherspoon, R.Bourque), :25. 6, Bridgeport, B.Holmstrom 2 (Vande Sompel, R.Bourque), 3:10. Penalties — C.Bourque, Bpt (hooking), 5:34; Koppanen, Pro (tripping), 7:53.

Overtime — No scoring. Penalties — C.Bourque, Bpt (tripping), 2:13; Carey, Pro (tripping), 4:21.

Shootout — Providence, Smith NG, Szwarz NG, Frederic G, Carey NG; Bridgeport, Jones NG, C.Bourque G, St. Denis NG, Fritz G

Shots on goal — Providence 13-6-5-8-0—32. Bridgeport 6-3-5-1-1—16.

Power play opportunities — Providence 1 of 5, Bridgeport 0 of 5.

Goaltenders — Providence, Vladar 6-8-4 (15 shots-12 saves). Bridgeport, Gibson 11-7-4 (32-29).

Attendance — 4,329. Referees — O’Donnell, Halkidis. Linesmen — Colby, E.Ernst.

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