Bridgeport needed a solid effort from goaltender Kevin Poulin, but ultimately managed to win their home opener in a 4-2 decision over Providence.
Once again, the Sound Tigers gave up an early lead. Maxime Sauve put the Bruins ahead at 7:39 of the first period, and it wasn’t until late in the opening frame that Bridgeport was able to come back. But Brandon DeFazio managed to score his second goal in two games, this one shorthanded, at 17:34.
Nino Niederreiter carried over that momentum by scoring on the power play early in the second period. From that point on, it was nearly all Bridgeport, though Providence managed to get a couple of good chances that Poulin was equal to.
Jon Landry’s goal at 5:51 of the third period added to the lead, but the Bruins struck out hard after that, killing nearly an entire penalty inside the Sound Tigers’ own zone and testing Poulin and the defense. Craig Cunningham managed to cut the lead down to 3-2 with his goal at 11:15, but at that point KP shut the door. He finished with 29 saves, and earned the first star of the game for his efforts. Matt Watkins scored an empty-netter to ice the game in Bridgeport’s favor.
This game was tight, and Bridgeport had to work hard to preserve the win (as they did with Connecticut). While it’s refreshing to see KP play so well, especially considering he wasn’t even supposed to start this match — he took over for Anders Nilsson who was feeling under the weather — the skaters in front of him need to be more supportive and keep their opponents from getting a lot of space in front of him. Penalties also remain a problem.
At the very least, this game adds another two points to the Sound Tigers’ tally. They face off next against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton next Saturday, Oct. 20, as part of a four-game road trip. You can view the full boxscore here, and the BST game recap once it becomes available on soundtigers.com.
Let’s go, Bridgeport!