Goaltender dominates as Sound Tigers up streak to five
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders' AHL affiliate, dominated the Lowell Lock Monsters in a convincing 6-0 home victory Saturday that extends the team's unbeaten streak in regulation to five games at 4-0-0-1. Wade Dubielewicz has been in goal for all five games stopping 156 of 160 shots in that time.
"We're learning how to win by doing the little things," Sound Tigers head coach Dave Baseggio said. "The season is a roller coaster ride, and the key is not to get too high or too low. We're not where we want to be, but if we keep playing the way we've been playing, we'll be where we need to be."
The Sound Tigers got on the board at 11:33 of the first period when Robert Nilsson sent a no-look pass to Travis Brigley for a back-door tap-in goal, his fifth of the season. Nilsson extended his assist streak to five games and his point streak to seven games on the play while Sean Bergenheim also picked up an assist and extended his point streak to three games.
After the pretty goal by Brigley, the Sound Tigers went digging for more. Matt Koalska scored his ninth goal of the season when Cole Jarrett threw a shot on net and the rebound fell into the crease. A large goal-mouth scramble ended when Koalska pushed the puck past Lowell netminder Kevin Nastiuk to make it 2- 0 at the 13:25 mark. Masi Marjamaki also earned an assist on the play.
Nilsson went to work again, this time on the power-play, setting up a one-time goal by Jeff Hamilton, his eleventh of the season extending his point streak to 11 games. Nilsson came out from behind the Lock Monsters net with Bruno Gervais creating a pick and found Hamilton at the left circle who fired the puck past Nastiuk to make it 3-0 with 3:14 left in the opening frame.
The second period showcased one of the main reasons the Sound Tigers are unbeaten-in-regulation in the last five games as Dubielewicz made two highlight-reel saves sliding from post to post. He stopped Danny Richmond less than a minute into the frame with a stick save and came up with a pad stop on a one-time shot by Johnny Boychuk with 11:44 left on the clock.
"I'm feeling more confident with every win," Dubielewicz said. "The team is creating more offensively but still committing to playing solid defense."
The final period got underway quickly as Lowell put more pressure on Dubielewicz. The Lock Monsters' best chance came when Krys Kolanos threw a shot on goal that hit Dubielewicz's shoulder and trickled through the crease and into the corner.
The Sound Tigers turned up their offense 10:38 into the period when Brigley scored his second goal of the game and sixth of the season off a great backhand, through-the-legs pass by Chris Thompson to make it 4-0. Brigley took the pass and slid the puck past Nastiuk. Ryan Caldwell also collected a helper on the play.
Koalska notched his second of the game just over two minutes later. Jarrett sent a clearing attempt to Masi Marjamaki who chipped the puck off the boards to Koalska who fought off a check by Kolanos, stick-handled towards the net and slipped the puck past Nastiuk for the 5-0 lead at 12:56.
Bergenheim closed out the scoring on the power play with his tenth marker of the season, extending his goal streak to three games, with 2:12 to go. Alan Rourke fed a pass to Caldwell who one-timed a shot that Bergenheim was able to tip over the shoulder of Nastiuk for the 6-0 overpowering victory by the Sound Tigers.
Dubielewicz was the first star of the game earning his third shutout of the year and franchise-record 13th all-time as a Sound Tiger, Brigley was the second star of the game and Koalska was the third.
The Sound Tigers were 2 for 6 on the power play, 8 for 8 on the penalty kill and won despite being outshot 24-19.
Mario Larocque was released from his professional tryout contract Saturday after playing in two games with the Soudn Tigers. Larocque was sent back to the Danbury Trashers of the United Hockey League.
The Sound Tigers will return to action when they host the Philadelphia Phantoms this coming Wednesday, January 4th at 7:05 p.m. All Sound Tigers games are web-cast live at www.soundtigers.com. Fans can also watch all games live on the B2 Networks. Information about Sound Tigers ticket packages and promotions is available by calling 203-334-GOAL or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.