Wolfed down: Chicago takes 3-1 series lead over Sound Tigers
By MICHAEL FORNABAIO
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- For the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, prolonging their
season comes down to one thing now, as put by defenseman Chris
Armstrong: "Win Monday.
Unspoken in that is that, to win the Calder Cup now, the Sound Tigers
also will have to win next Thursday and Friday.
The Chicago Wolves scored twice in the third period to beat
Bridgeport 4-2 in Game 4 of the finals, taking a 3-1 series lead
before 9,115 at Allstate Arena.
Brad Tapper deflected the game-winner in at 3:08 of the third. Game 5
of the series is here Monday night at 8. The Sound Tigers need a win
to bring the series back to Bridgeport.
On the game-winner, after a delay to fix glass in a corner, Derek
MacKenzie won the draw from Justin Mapletoft to the right point to
Dallas Eakins. Eakins walked it to the middle of the ice and shot at
the screen MacKenzie was setting in front. Tapper got a stick on it,
and it deflected past Rick DiPietro.
"They won a face-off clean, and that alone says they got the job done
on that part of the play, and we didn't, Bridgeport coach Steve
Stirling said. "That turned out to be the difference.
Those are the kinds of goals the Sound Tigers aren't getting,
"In playoff hockey, it's not usually pretty goals, Armstrong
said. "Very seldom is it a cute back-door pass. Usually, you throw it
out and bounce it off of someone's head or hand.
Andreas Karlsson added an empty-netter. The Sound Tigers scored two
or fewer goals for the third straight game.
Bridgeport fell behind in the second but tied it on a broken-play
power-play goal with 6:49 left in the period. Ken Sutton's pass
toward the front was blocked, but Raffi Torres backhanded the puck
behind his back to wide-open Jason Podollan, who had an empty net to
shoot at. He scored his fourth goal of the playoffs.
Justin Mapletoft was credited with assists on each of the first two
Bridgeport goals, although it appeared he hadn't been among the last
three to touch the puck on either. Jason Krog and Torres were the two
who were apparently shorted.
The Sound Tigers had fallen behind 2-1 at 10:30 of the period when
Rob Brown finished a gorgeous passing play for his second goal of the
game. The puck went from point to halfboards and back and forth
between the circles before Brown got the shot he wanted.
The teams also traded power-play goals in the first period, both with
special circumstances. Bridgeport struck first on a 5-on-3, 14
seconds after Bob Nardella took a high-sticking minor to put the
Sound Tigers up two men. Chris Armstrong got his third goal, one-
timing a right-to-left pass across the point from Ray Giroux low to
the glove side.
After Chicago killed the remainder of Nardella's penalty at 5-on-4,
Dave Roche was called for elbowing. As that penalty wound down, Ray
Schultz cross-checked J.P. Vigier behind the net. The Wolves
maintained possession, however, and Kirill Safronov found Brown, the
man who hopped off the bench on the delayed penalty, for a wide-open
shot from the right circle with one second on the clock on Roche's
Because there was time remaining on the Roche minor, Schultz had to
serve his minor and the Sound Tigers had to kill it off.
The AHL presented Houston defenseman Travis Roche with the Yanick
Dupre Award before the game. The award is given annually to the AHL's
Man of the Year for charity and community work.