Bridgeport starting goaltender Nathan Lawson remained undefeated in eight AHL games, stopping 28 of 29 shots as the Sound Tigers defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack 3-1 in Bridgeport on Friday night. Artem Anisimov scored Hartford’s only goal, his twelfth of the season, while Miika Wiikman stopped just 14 of 17 Bridgeport shots.
The Wolf Pack emerged from the Christmas break looking a little too relaxed, spotting Bridgeport a 2-0 lead in the first period. Sound Tiger defenseman Jamie Fraser got on the board first with a slap shot from the left point that beat Wiikman through a crowd at 14:41. Bridgeport winger Jesse Joensuu built the lead to two just over four minutes later when he collected a drop pass in the right circle, froze Wiikman with a fake, and fired a wrist shot over his glove. The Sound Tigers outshot the Wolf Pack 10-8 in the period.
The momentum swung in the opposite direction in the second period after referee Jeff Smith whistled coinciding penalties on P.A. Parenteau (goaltender interference) and Andrew McDonald (roughing) at 6:03. Brodie Dupont, returning to the lineup after missing last Sunday’s game with a likely head injury, played an aggressive, forechecking shift paired with Anisimov to start the 4-on-4, setting the tone for the remainder of the period in which the Pack outshot the Sound Tigers 13-3.
Anisimov cut Bridgeport’s lead to one midway through the period when he took a feed from Dale Weise, cut in from the left side and snapped a shot over Lawson’s glove from the hashmarks. It was the first point the line of Justin Soryal, Anisimov and Weise had scored since being put together eight games ago.
That was as close as the Pack would get. The second intermission, followed by a lengthy delay just 3:33 into the third period while arena staff replaced a pane of glass that was shattered when Jordan Owens missed a check and slammed into the boards, took any remaining wind out of the Wolf Pack’s sails. Despite being outshot 8-4, Bridgeport scored the only goal of the frame when Jason Pitton won a 1-on-1 battle with Vladimir Denisov behind the net and fed the puck out in front, where Michael Haley was waiting to backhand it past Wiikman for his first goal of the season at 15:33. Any hopes for a last-minute comeback were further dashed when Parenteau took an offensive zone cross-checking penalty with 1:16 remaining in the game, preventing the Pack from getting the man-advantage when Wiikman was pulled for the extra skater.
Highlights are available from AHL Live.
- With his goal, Anisimov tied Parenteau for the team lead in goals with 12, while taking taking sole possession of the top spot in points with 29 in 32 games.
- Parenteau has just 2 points in his last 6 games. He’s been a -7 in those 6 games and is a -8 on the season.
- Haley challenged Denisov to a fight at 16:26 of the second period, earning the victory when he connected with a left, knocking Denisov off balance.
- With the win, the Sound Tiger moved into a tie for first overall in the AHL with the Hershey Bears with 45 points.
- Following the game defenseman Corey Potter was recalled by the Rangers to fill in for Michael Rozsival, who will miss Saturday’s Ranger game for family reasons.
- Potter’s recall will open the door for David Urquhart, who was a healthy scratch on Friday, to return to the line up.
1. Fraser (3) (Walter, Colliton) 14:41
1. Joensuu (11) (Walter, Colliton) 18:53
2. Anisimov (12) (Weise, Soryal) 9:51
3. Haley (1) (Pitton, Haskins) 15:33
DiDiomete – Rissmiller – Parenteau
Dupont – Moore – Stefanishion
Soryal – Anisimov – Weise
Pyatt – Ouellette – Owens
Graham – Potter
Denisov – Sauer
Nightingale – Sanguinetti
Wiikman / Zaba
1. Micheal Haley
2. Ben Walter
3. Nathan Lawson
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