The Sound Tigers snapped a five-game slide at Webster Bank Arena as it opened a five-game homestand that runs through Saturday, March 21.
Following a scoreless deadlock more than 16 minutes into the contest, Bridgeport struck first with 3:23 left on the clock in the opening frame. The Sound Tigers charged ahead with an odd-man rush through center, which all started with Grant Hutton’s shot block in the defensive zone. Simon Holmstrom collected a pass and fed the puck to the right circle where St. Denis blasted home a one-timer for his first of two goals in the game. It was also the first of two assists on the night for Holmstrom.
Bridgeport began the second period killing off a delay-of-game penalty that occurred late in the first, and then picked up where it left off offensively. Bellows scored twice in the span of 2:42 to push his season total to a team-leading 22 goals. Oliver Wahlstrom camped out in the right corner and dished a pass to the front of the net where Bellows forced it back door to make it 2-0. Wahlstrom increased his point streak to four games (2g, 2a).
Bellows followed with a shorthanded goal at 8:44 of the second period in the wake of a penalty to Nic Pierog for high sticking. Colin McDonald joined Bellows on a two-on-one rush in transition but Bellows, carrying the puck down the left wing, called his own number and ripped a shot blocker side on goalie Joseph Woll to make it 3-0. Bellows has seven goals in his last nine games.
The Marlies got on the board for the first time early in the third period. A rebound came loose in front of the net and Garrett Wilson swept it past Christopher Gibson for his 10th goal of the season at 3:37.
Toronto continued with immense pressure in the third and outshot Bridgeport 25-6 in the frame, but Gibson remained a brick wall and St. Denis finished the night with an empty-net tally in the final three minutes for his 13th goal of the season.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the kill. Gibson (10-8-5) made 44 saves, while Woll (11-16-3) had 20 stops.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. matchup against the Toronto Marlies. Fans can follow all of the live action via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
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