HARTFORD, Conn. (Dec. 27, 2012) – Kevin Poulin made 36 saves to earn his first shutout of the 2012-13 season, and Chad Costello’s first AHL goal turned out to be the game-winner as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Connecticut Whale 3-0 at the XL Center on Thursday night. The win gives the Sound Tigers a sweep of the home-and-home series as they improve to 15-12-1-2 overall. The Whale falls to 12-16-2-0.
The Sound Tigers scored early in the first period for the second straight night against their in-state rival. Costello deflected Matt Watkins’ centering feed past Whale goaltender Cam Talbot 1:57 into the game for his first career AHL goal to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Matt Donovan pushed the Sound Tigers lead to two goals with 1:01 left in the opening frame. Six seconds after the Whale’s Kris Newbury was sent to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct, Donovan sent a wrist shot from the point past Talbot for his fourth goal of the season. Poulin stopped all 13 shots he faced, and the Sound Tigers led 2-0 after 20 minutes.
John Persson increased the Sound Tigers lead to three 4:15 into the second period. Watkins won a battle along the left half-wall in the Whale zone and found Persson in the low slot. Persson played give-and-go with Colin McDonald, eventually tipping McDonald’s return pass past Talbot for his 10th goal of the season to give the Sound Tigers a 3-0 lead.
Poulin continued to shine between the pipes, and made his best saves early in the third period. The Whale earned three power play chances in the first half of the final frame, but Poulin and the penalty kill denied the Whale, who went 0-for-7 on the power play in the game. The third-year Sound Tiger turned aside 14 shots in the final period, and Bridgeport came away with the 3-0 victory and a second victory in as many nights.
Poulin earned his third straight win and improves to 9-5-2 this season. Talbot suffered the loss and falls to 10-13-0.
The Sound Tigers return to action on Saturday night when they host the Manchester Monarchs at Webster Bank Arena. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.
Notes: Poulin’s shutout was his first since he recorded three straight shutouts from Jan. 2-7 last season … Costello has recorded points in both of his games as a Sound Tiger after leading the ECHL in points prior to signing his PTO … The Sound Tigers penalty kill is 25-for-26 over the last five games … Watkins and McDonald each posted two assists; McDonald leads the team with 18 assists … The Whale outshot the Sound Tigers 36-26 … The Sound Tigers have points in seven of their last eight games following an eight-game winless streak.
Three Stars 1. BRI: Kevin Poulin 2. BRI: Chad Costello 3. BRI: Colin McDonald
Bridgeport Sound Tigers Forwards 23 John Persson - 11 Casey Cizikas (A) - 13 Colin McDonald (C) 24 David Ullstrom - 28 Johan Sundstrom - 42 Brandon DeFazio 5 Jack Combs - 14 Matt Watkins - 18 Chad Costello 44 Brett Gallant - 4 Scott Campbell - 20 Blair Riley
Defensemen 46 Matt Donovan - 6 Ty Wishart 27 Aaron Ness - 25 Jordan Hill 15 Marc Cantin - 7 Jon Landry (A)
Goaltenders 38 Kevin Poulin (starter) 45 Anders Nilsson
Connecticut Whale Forwards 15 Marek Hrivik - 11 Kris Newbury - 42 Chad Kolarik 20 Chris Kreider - 7 Kyle Jean - 26 Brandon Segal 16 Tommy Grant - 90 Kelsey Tessier - 9 Ryan Bourque 24 Shayne Wiebe - 92 Christian Thomas
Defensemen 48 Mike Vernace - 97 Matt Gilroy 25 Sean Collins - 2 Dylan McIlrath 3 Sam Klassen - 5 Blake Parlett
Goaltenders 33 Cameron Talbot (starter) 31 Jason Missiaen