SOUND TIGERS CLINCH HOME ICE FOR AT LEAST ONE ROUND
Beat Hershey 3-2 at home to secure advantage
in at least division semi-final
BRIDGEPORT, CT â" The American Hockey Leagueâs Bridgeport Sound
Tigers, top affiliate of the National Hockey Leagueâs New York
Islanders, clinched home-ice advantage through at least the division
semifinal round of the upcoming Calder Cup Playoffs with a 3-2 home
win over the Hershey Bears Saturday. Blaine Down and Martin Kariya
had a goal and an assist apiece, and Ben Guite notched a pair of
helpers as the Sound Tigers ran their unbeaten streak to four games
If the Sound Tigers finish the regular season in first place in the
East Division, they will host games one and two of the East Division
Semifinals on Wednesday, April 21st and Friday, April 23rd. If the
Sound Tigers finish the regular season in second place in the East
Division, they will host games one and two of the East Division
Semifinals on Thursday, April 15th and Saturday, April 17th.
Hershey opened Saturdayâs scoring with a shorthanded goal by Travis
Brigley, his fifth marker of the season, 5:20 into the game and just
14 seconds in the first power play of the contest off assists from
Gavin Morgan and Pascal Trepanier.
The Sound Tigers tied the game at 1-1 when Down scored his sixth goal
of the year 1:19 into the middle frame off assists from Kariya and
Guite. They took their first lead of the night 5:53 later on Jeff
Hamiltonâs 41st goal of the season, his 63rd all-time as a Sound
Tiger, off assists from Brandon Smith and Luke Curtin marking the
second time in as many nights Smith and Curtin set up a goal by
Hamilton. Hamilton is now on a three-game goal and point streak, and
Curtin is now on a four-game assist and point streak.
The Bears tied the game at 2-2 5:10 into the third period on Chris
Balaâs 13th goal of the year off assists from Morgan and Mikhail
Kuleshov, but the line of Down, Kariya and Guite came through for the
Sound Tigers one more time as Kariya notched the game-winner, his
sixth marker of the season, with 1:53 left to play off assists from
Down and Guite.
Hershey pulled Goaltender Phil Sauve with 38 seconds left to play but
could not tie the game.
Kariya was the first star of the game, Down was the second, and Guite
was the third. The Sound Tigers were 0 for 7 on the power play while
the Bears were 0 for 2. Sound Tigers Netminder Dieter Kochan made 33
saves to run his unbeaten streak to four games at 3-0-1 while Sauve
made 28 as Hershey had a 35-31 shots on goal advantage.
Kariya lifts Sound Tigers past Bears
By MICHAEL FORNABAIO
Martin Kariya thought he had hit the net once before Saturday night,
but when he caught the back of the net with 1:53 remaining, he gave
the Bridgeport Sound Tigers a 3-2 win over the Hershey Bears.
Kariya, who celebrated a first-period shot that referee Gord Dwyer
ruled never to have crossed the goal line, got the puck at the top of
the crease and drilled the puck into a gaping net for his first goal
in 33 games.
The rookie winger's last goal was Dec. 28, coincidentally in Hershey.
"It was nice. I mean, if I scored on half of my breakaways, I'd
probably have 12 or 13 right now," said Kariya, who has six.
The goal also clinched at worst a second-place finish for Bridgeport
in the East Division; however, Philadelphia's 4-1 win at Wilkes-
Barre/Scranton pushed the Phantoms closer to clinching the division
Any combination of three Phantoms points or three points lost by
Bridgeport gives Philadelphia the title.
The Sound Tigers' line of Ben Guite between Down and Kariya, united
two weeks ago in Philadelphia, scored two of the goals and scored the
winner off a faceoff in the Bears' zone.
"Some games have been really penalty-filled, and we haven't had a lot
of time together," Kariya said. "We're always getting chances. We
could have a lot more goals than we do."
And, of course, since it's the season of controversial non-goals in
Bridgeport, Dwyer waved one off with 1:41 left in the first.
Kariya's shot hit the crossbar, bounced off goalie Phil Sauve's leg
and trickled toward the goal line, where Blaine Down and a Hershey
defender both took a swipe at it.
Bridgeport coach Greg Cronin said a replay was inconclusive.
Still, that made Kariya's game-winner that much sweeter.
"It was getting painful to watch, the poor kid," Cronin
said. "Breakaway after breakaway, point-blank shots. You can get all
the silver lining out of it
you're getting chances, getting shots
but the ultimate reward is to get a goal."
Down scored his sixth goal in the second period off a nice Guite
pass. Jeff Hamilton followed that with what will be his 40th goal
after a scoring change comes through.
Chris Bala had tied the game for Hershey at 5:10 of the third.
Kariya's goal bailed out an ineffective power play that couldn't
score on a five-minute match penalty that included two five-on-threes
in the second period.
The power play is in a 2-for-52 drought, though that includes a
Hamilton goal Friday night.
Dwyer called the match penalty on Evgeni Artukhin after consulting
with the linesmen. He called the penalty for a slew foot
when a player kicks the skates out from behind on another player
on Graham Belak.
A match penalty carries an automatic suspension pending review by the
Hershey1 0 1
Bridgeport 0 2 1
1, Hershey, Brigley 5 (Morgan, Trepanier), 5:20 (sh). Penalties
Finger, Her (interference), 5:06; Smith, Bpt (tripping), 10:28;
Morgan, Her (hooking), 17:41.
2, Bridgeport, Down 6 (Guite, Kariya), 1:19. 3, Bridgeport, Hamilton
41 (Curtin, Smith), 7:12. Penalties
Willis, Her (high-sticking), 7:52; Artukhin, Her, match penalty,
12:31; Hamilton, Bpt (ob.-holding), 13:15; Brule, Her (hooking),
13:59; Hlinka, Her (delay of game-closing hand on puck), 16:02.
4, Hershey, Bala 13 (Morgan, Kuleshov), 5:10. 5, Bridgeport, Kariya 6
(Down, Guite), 18:07. Penalties
Guite, Bpt (boarding), 2:28; Brigley, Her (roughing), 3:02; Pettinen,
Bpt (roughing), 3:02; McCormick, Her (cross-checking), 7:40; Down,
Bpt (tripping), 7:40; McCormick, Her, double minor (cross-checking,
Shots on goal
35. Bridgeport 6-17-8
Power play opportunities
Hershey 0 of 2, Bridgeport 0 of 6.
Hershey, Sauve 2-6-0 (31 shots-28 saves). Bridgeport, Kochan 19-17-6
MARTIN KARIYA, BRIDGEPORT
Scored the game-winner.
GAVIN MORGAN, HERSHEY
Made good plays to set up both Bears goals.
BLAINE DOWN, BRIDGEPORT
Scored one goal and set up another.
Brandon Smith took another shot off his bruised left ankle
but earned an assist out of it.
"It was a lucky break. I haven't had that all year long."
Today vs. Albany, 4:05 p.m.
GAME DAY - Sound Tigers
Albany River Rats at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Today, 4:05 p.m.
Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR
No radio; Webcast at www.soundtigers.com
RECORDS THROUGH FRIDAY
Albany 18-37-11-9; Bridgeport 38-23-10-4
The River Rats won 3-1 March 21 at Albany.
ABOUT THE RIVER RATS
Albany played at Lowell Saturday. ... Through a hard season, C Craig
Darby (21-43-64) has been a bright spot. ... G Ari Ahonen (13-28-6,
2.91 GAA) has played all seven games against Bridgeport and allowed
only 10 goals. ... The Rats have been locked into the East Division
basement since March 20. They beat the Sound Tigers the next
night. ... Former Sound Tigers D Ray Giroux is up with the New Jersey
ABOUT THE SOUND TIGERS
Bridgeport hosted playoff-desperate Hershey Saturday night riding a
2-0-1 streak. ... Jeff Hamilton led the league with 40 goals; even
once one is taken away in a scoring change, the total will still be
tops. ... F Kevin Colley is 1-3-4 against the River Rats this
season. ... All-time, the Sound Tigers are 8-1-2 against Albany in
Bridgeport. They are 13-5-5 overall against the Rats. ... Today
completes stretches of four games in five nights and seven games in
Thursday vs. Norfolk, 7:05 p.m.
Skidding Bears fall on late goal
With less than two minutes left, Bridgeportâs Martin Kariya scored
his first goal since Dec. 28 and sunk Hershey, 3-2.
Staff and news service report
Sunday, April 4, 2004
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. â" As far as the Hershey Bears were concerned,
Martin Kariya could have found a different night to snap his three-
month scoring drought.
His shot with 1:53 left in the third period Saturda
y night eluded Hershey goaltender Phil Sauve and gave the Sound
Tigers a 3-2 victory over the free-falling Bears at the Arena at
Kariyaâs first goal since Dec. 28 â" in Hershey â" sent the Bears to
their fifth straight loss and ninth in a row away from Giant Center.
With four games left in the regular season, Paul Fixterâs swooning
club trails the fifth-place Binghamton Senators by four points for
the final playoff spot in the AHLâs East Division.
Binghamton (33-33-7-3, 76 points) dropped a 3-1 decision in Norfolk,
allowing the Admirals (34-34-4-5, 77 points) to hop back into fourth
place, five up on sixth-place Hershey (30-34-8-4, 72 points).
While the Admirals are off today, the Bears play at Springfield
against the Falcons while the Sens visit the first-place Philadelphia
Desperate for points, Hershey hopes to avoid missing the postseason
for the first time since 1992-93.
Saturday night, the Bears jumped out to a 1-0 lead, fell behind 2-1
and tied things up on Chris Balaâs third-period goal. But just
seconds after the Sound Tigers won an offensive-zone faceoff late in
the game, Kariyaâs sixth goal of the season beat Sauve.
Fixter lifted his goalie for an extra attacker in the final 38
seconds, but Hershey couldnât force overtime.
When the scoreboard clock hit all zeroes, the Bears lost for the
seventh time in the last eight games and 10th time in the last 12
Kariyaâs late goal capped a frustrating 24 hours for Fixterâs team.
On the heels of Fridayâs controversial loss in Philadelphia, where
two apparent goals didnât count, acting captain Brett Clark was
recalled by the Colorado Avalanche in mid-afternoon. That left
Hershey with just five defensemen to face Bridgeport, and tenacious
forward Sheldon Keefe couldnât play because of a charley horse in his
The game started well enough for the visitors as Travis Brigleyâs
short-handed shot beat Sound Tigers goalie Dieter Kochan 5:20 into
Brigleyâs first AHL goal since Oct. 25 gave Hershey some much-needed
momentum, but Bridgeport scored twice in the first 7Â½ minutes of the
At 1:19, Blaine Down took advantage of a Hershey defensive breakdown
and cashed in Ben Guiteâs centering pass from the right circle.
Down thought he had scored in the first period, but referee Gordon
Dwyer â" the same official who worked the Bears-Phantoms game Friday â"
waved off a score the goal judge thought was a goal.
Bridgeport (39-23-10-4, 92 points) took the lead on a strange
sequence a little less than six minutes later. A shot by Steve Brule
hit Sound Tigers defenseman Brandon Smith in the left leg. Smith went
down with an apparent injury, but one-time Bear Luke Curtin grabbed
the puck and worked it up ice to Jeff Hamilton.
Hamiltonâs right-circle shot eluded Sauve for his AHL-leading 41st
goal of the season at 7:12.
A little more than five minutes later, the Bears lost the services of
Evgeni Artukhin for the remainder of the game as well as todayâs
Artukhin drilled another former Bear, Graham Belak, at 12:31. Dwyer
didnât originally call a penalty, but changed his mind after
consulting with linesmen Brent Colby and Marty Demers.
Artukhinâs hit was deemed to be a slew foot, where one player kicks
out the skates from under another. Dwyer assessed Artukhin a match
penalty for deliberate attempt to injure. As per league rules, heâll
be suspended pending an AHL review of the incident.
Bridgeport went on a five-minute power play, which was interrupted by
a Hamilton holding call. Hershey took two more penalties, giving the
home team an extended 4 on 3 and two 5 on 3s.
The Sound Tigers couldnât score on any of their manpower advantages.
Down by one, Hershey pulled even when Bala deposited Gavin Morganâs
pass behind Kochan at 5:10 of the third period. Things remained even
until Kariyaâs decisive score.
* * *
Notes: With Clark gone, RW Dennis Bonvie skated regular shifts on
defense. He broke into the AHL as a blueliner for the Cape Breton
Oilers in 1993-94. Hershey will likely recall either Tomas Slovak or
Dean Arsene from the ECHLâs Reading Royals. â¦ Sauve slumped to 2-6-0
since being re-assigned to Hershey on March 9. â¦ After being
scratched Friday, both LW Mikhail Kuleshov and C Ryan Craig suited up
against Bridgeport. LW Nikita Alexeev sat out as Hersheyâs lone
healthy scratch, but he figures to replace Artukhin in the lineup
today in Springfield. â¦
Speaking of Artukhin, the AHL could come down hard on him as a repeat
offender. The rookie had two previous ejections this season and a
third which was later rescinded. On two occasions, Artukhin was
suspended for one game by league disciplinarian Jim Mill. â¦ With a
victory, the Sound Tigers wrapped up second place in the East
Division. Bridgeport trails first-place Philadelphia by five points
with four games left. â¦ The Bears tumbled to 2-12-0-1 in their last
15 road outings. â¦ Hershey hasnât played in Springfield since Oct.
20. That night, Kochan was in net for the Falcons and his last-minute
penalty shot save on C Matt Herr helped Springfield secure a 3-1
Struggling Bears continue downward spiral
From Staff and Wire Reports
BRIDGEPORT, Conn.-- Martin Kariya scored his first goal since Dec. 28
to lift the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to a 3-2 victory over the Hershey
Bears last night at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
The loss was the fifth straight, and the seventh straight road loss,
for the Bears, who remain mired in sixth place in the AHL's East
Division, actually losing ground when fifth place Norfolk beat
Binghamton 3-1 last night. With the win, Norfolk moved into fourth
place with 77 points, dropping Binghamton to fifth with 76. The Bears
are now four points out of the playoffs with 72 points and just four
The Bears will be in Springfield for a 4 p.m. game today, then play
in Albany Wedesday before returning home to close out the regular
season with games against Norfolk and Philadelphia next weekend.
Kariya scored with 1:57 left in regulation, securing at least a
second-place finish for Bridgeport (39-23-10-4) in the East Division.
Gavin Morgan had two assists for Hershey (30-33-8-4).
Jeff Hamilton scored his league-leading 41st goal of the year for the
Sound Tigers, and Blaine Down had a goal and an assist.
Travis Brigley and Chris Bala scored for the Bears.
Dieter Kochan made 33 saves for the Sound Tigers, while Phil Sauve
made 28 stops for the Bears.
Referee Gord Dwyer assessed Hershey winger Evgeni Artukhin a match
penalty in the second period for slew-footing Graham Belak.