BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Jack Combs and Johan Sundstrom combined for goals late in the 3rd period, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Sound Tigers fell short to the Adirondack Phantoms 3-2 on Saturday at the Webster Bank Arena. The loss ended Bridgeport’s five-game streak with at least a point, as they fell to 13-12-1-2 on the season, while the Phantoms earned their 3rd straight win as they improved to 13-14-1-0.
Despite the loss, the real story tonight from the Webster Bank Arena was the Sound Tigers tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy from December 14th. Starting on Saturday, and continuing at all home games until January 20th, the Sound Tigers will be paying a tribute by wearing the names of the deceased school children on their jerseys (see image below). Additionally, all Newtown residents were admitted for free to Saturday’s home game, and are also invited to home games on the 26th and 29th at no cost (by showing valid ID at the box office).
Click here to read Mike Fornabaio’s post-game blog.
Sean Couturier, the 8th overall selection by Philadelphia in the 2011 NHL Draft scored the first goal at 14:10 of the opening period, as he fired a shot from the corner that bounced off of a Sound Tiger and past Anders Nilsson.
Couturier helped the Phantoms extend their lead in the 2nd period when his shot from the point was deflected in off of the stick of Matt Ford, whose 1st goal of the season ricocheted past Nilsson at 7:49, as the Sound Tigers couldn’t score despite out shooting Adirondack 15-7 in the period.
The Phantoms and Sound Tigers started the 3rd period with a 4 on 4 after matching roughing penalties against Matt Donovan and Harry Zolnierczyk at the end of the period, as Couturier set up Eric Wellwood just 38 seconds with a great cross ice pass to extend the Phantoms lead to 3-0.
Bridgeport scored their goals late in the period, first as newcomer Chad Costello found Jack Combs for his first of the AHL season at 13:39. Costello and Combs both made their Sound Tigers debuts on Saturday after arriving together earlier in the week from Colorado in the ECHL, where they were ranked 1st and 2nd in the league in scoring. Johan Sundstrom followed up with his 8th of the season just 27 seconds later to cut the Bridgeport deficit to one.
Former Sound Tigers goaltender Scott Munroe stopped 34 shots against his old club in the win, as Bridgeport outshot the Phantoms 36-18.
A pair of heavyweight tilts between Brett Gallant and Zack FitzGerald that were easily won by Gallant was also part of the night, with FitzGerald also receiving a 10-minute misconduct following the 2nd bout for trying to continue the altercation, swinging at the air with his jersey pulled over his face while the linesmen were separating the combatants.
The Sound Tigers and the AHL are now on a Christmas break until the 26th, when they will return home to host the Connecticut Whale at 7pm from the Webster Bank Arena. Tickets are available at the arena box office or at Soundtigers.com through Ticketmaster. If you’re not able to make the game, you can listen or watch at AHL Live, starting at 6:45 with the pre-game show.