SOUND TIGERS LOSE 3-2 TO NORFOLK
Admirals rally for win in third period
BRIDGEPORT, CT - The American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound
Tigers, top affiliate of the National Hockey League's New York
Islanders, lost 3-2 at home to the Norfolk Admirals Wednesday.
Momentum swung back and forth in the early going as the Sound Tigers
jumped out to a 5-1 shots on goal advantage before Norfolk rattled
off seven straight attempts. The Sound Tigers regained the edge in
play and took the first lead with a five-on-three power-play goal by
Bruno Gervais off assists from Wyatt Smith and Justin Papineau with
6:25 left in the first period. The goal was the second in as many
games overall, as well as the second of the season series with the
Admirals for Gervais. In addition, Smith extended an assist streak to
four games and Papineau upped his team-leading point total to ten
with their helpers.
Norfolk tied the score at 1-1 on a five-on-three goal by Anton
Babchuk, his second marker of the year, 4:18 into the middle frame
off assists from Jason Morgan and James Wisniewski, but the Sound
Tiger regained the lead at 2-1 just 2:22 later on a four-on-three
goal by Smith, his first tally with the team, off assists from Rob
Collins, his team-best sixth helper, and Gervais.
Babchuk tied it again, this time at 2-2, with his second goal of the
period and the game, his third of the season, on a delayed penalty at
the 17:05 mark off assists from Shawn Thornton and Marty St. Pierre.
The Admirals took their first lead of the night at 3-2 when Quintin
Laing redirected a Michal Barinka shot past Sound Tigers goaltender
Chris Madden 7:18 into the third period. Nathan Barrett collected the
The Sound Tigers pulled Madden in favor of an extra attacker with
just over a minute left to play but returned him to the net when they
took a penalty with 13.7 seconds left and had a face-off in their end
of the ice. However, they almost tied the game by rushing the puck up
ice with a series of quick and accurate passes right off the draw
giving Smith a shot from the right circle, but Norfolk netminder
Corey Crawford, in his third straight start, made the biggest save of
the game as time expired.
Babchuk was the first star of the game, Smith the second and Laing
the third. Crawford made 27 saves to earn the win while Madden took
the loss despite an impressive 43-save effort. The Sound Tigers were
2 for 8 on the power play while the Admirals were 1 for 10 and had a
46-29 shots on goal advantage.
The Sound Tigers will continue a busy week with three games in three
nights this weekend. They will host the Manchester Monarchs this
Friday at 7:35 p.m.
Sound Tigers go from sleek to meek in home loss
By MICHAEL FORNABAIO
BRIDGEPORT Not even two leads and a strong night from their No. 2
goaltender could lift the Bridgeport Sound Tigers out of whatever
funk they found themselves in Wednesday night. Finished off by six
third-period Norfolk Admirals power plays and a deflection goal by
Quintin Laing at even strength, the Sound Tigers dropped a 3-2
decision in front of an announced 2,251 at the Arena at Harbor Yard
Bridgeport is 0-3 at home and has lost four in a row. "I don't know
if we think playing at home is going to be easier," coach Dave
Baseggio said. "Right from warmup, how we entered the ice, the bench
was casual, quiet. That's how we played: casual and quiet."
The Sound Tigers had killed three penalties in a row at the start of
the third period as Norfolk peppered Chris Madden with 10 shots in
the first 7:18. The 10th went in, a left-circle Laing deflection off
Michal Barinka's shot, giving Norfolk its first lead. Any carryover
from Bridgeport's 53-shot effort Saturday night at Hartford
evaporated in a hurry. "To go into Hartford last week and play
consistently the way we have to play, to play a hard, solid 60-minute
game, then to come and just lay an egg (Wednesday), it had nothing to
do with the penalties," said Wyatt Smith, who had a goal and an
assist. Bridgeport had scored two power-play goals, Bruno Gervais' on
a five-on-three in the first and Smith's on a four-on-three in the
second. Since coming back from an ankle injury, Smith has a goal and
four assists in four games. But Anton Babchuk tied the game twice
with top-shelf shots from the slot, one on a five-on-three and
another on a delayed penalty. Bridgeport managed six more shots. "I
have to figure (the malaise) out. That's my job," Baseggio said. "I
can't get into anybody's heart. I can't get into anybody's soul. I
can't get them excited about the game. We weren't the same team we
were Saturday night."
The Sound Tigers have never lost four straight home games. Their
longest home winless streak is five games. Last year, a 27-13 home
record was all that kept them afloat. "We've just got to come ready
to play in our building, the way we play on the road, in-your-face
hockey," said Justin Papineau, who assisted on Gervais' goal. "We're
letting teams play their systems in our rink."
Madden, in his first home start, made 43 saves but took his first
loss in four games. "Mad Dog played unreal," Papineau said. "If not
for him, it would have been way worse than it was."
Wade Dubielewicz, returned by the New York Islanders, backed up
Madden. Kevin Colley sat out with a neck injury. Vince Macri and
Evgeny Tunik were scratched for the second game in a row; Tunik took
warmup. Papineau left with 3:37 remaining with a "stinger" in his
shoulder on a collision with Shawn Thornton. Jody Robinson missed
much of the second period with a migraine. Those two players,
coincidentally, wore 'A's as alternate captains for the first time
this year with Colley and Allan Rourke out of the lineup.