Sound Tigers scram­ble for over­time win

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - Sports - By Michael Forn­abaio mforn­abaio@ct­; http://twit­­abaioctp; http://blog. ct­ forn­abaio

BRIDGE­PORT — The puck went in three times, Travis St. De­nis and Devon Toews said. Prov­i­dence didn’t want any of them to count. The Bridge­port Sound Tigers only needed one.

St. De­nis’ whack at a loose puck in the crease

1: 22 into over­time gave Bridge­port a 5- 4 win Satur­day night at Web­ster Bank Arena, the Sound Tigers’ fourth win in a row, each with at least five goals.

It was a crazy fin­ish to end a night on which Bridge­port blew a two- goal lead in the third pe­riod, and St. De­nis talked af­ter­ward about how it might’ve ended dis­as­trously in over­time.

“I jumped on the ice, went on the forecheck, I turned and fell, and they had a four- on- two the other way. That’s not a fun thing to watch,” he said.

But Ryan Donato’s shot went wide and car­omed around the boards. Otto Koivula, just out of the penalty box af­ter serv­ing Steve Bernier’s board­ing ma­jor, moved it to St. De­nis in stride.

Zane McIn­tyre stopped St. De­nis’ shot, but the re­bound car­omed off Donato back into the goalie. St. De­nis and Toews both crashed the net. Ref­eree Liam Sewell hopped on top of the net for a bet­ter look, and, hang­ing over the cross­bar, pointed into the net three times.

“Every­one was whack­ing at it, and it went in, and thank God it went in,” St. De­nis said.

Though Bridge­port was mostly in con­trol for the first two pe­ri­ods, Prov­i­dence had a much stronger third. An early goal through traf­fic cut the lead to 4- 3, and Donato’s goal on a twoman ad­van­tage tied it with 9: 34 left.

“A lit­tle off. We held them to 10 shots through two pe­ri­ods, and we gave them at least that many in the third pe­riod,” said Toews, whose slash­ing penalty put the Bru­ins up two men. “Too many good op­por­tu­ni­ties, a cou­ple of break­downs, a cou­ple of bad penal­ties, in­clud­ing my­self.”

Toews had opened the scor­ing on a power play, get­ting a shot to carom in off a de­fense­man’s skate. Chris Bourque’s as­sist gave him 700 points in the AHL; Bourque added a goal later off a St. De­nis feed af­ter Koivula got the puck deep.

In 734 AHL games, Bourque has 240 goals and 461 as­sists for 701 points.

“I can’t even imag­ine,” Bridge­port coach Brent Thomp­son said. “I might

need, I don’t know how many years, games — I don’t know if I could achieve 700 points play­ing in a men’s league with guys that can’t skate.” At­ten­dance was 3,060 Ki­ef­fer Bel­lows and Kyle Bur­roughs also scored for the Sound Tigers. Jan Ko­var, who went to New York Is­lan­ders train­ing camp with many of the Sound Tigers, had a power- play goal for the Bru­ins, and An­ton Blidh also scored.

Bernier’s board­ing ma­jor sent Trent Fred­eric to the Prov­i­dence dress­ing room and him­self to the Bridge­port room, given a game mis­con­duct. The Sound Tigers lim­ited the Bru­ins’ chances on the long penalty, even at fouron- three in over­time.

“We’ve got to play bet­ter with a lead. It’s some­thing we’ll learn from,” St. De­nis said. “The penalty kill came up big at the end and Smitty came up big. Those are the rea­sons we won the game, the PK and Smitty.”

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