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SOUND TIGERS 4, BEARS 1

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Andrew MacDonald has come a long way since he was sent to the organization’s ECHL affiliate, the Utah Grizzlies.  Tonight, after playing in 46 games for the Islanders this season, the Sound Tiger defenseman used his NHL experience to his advantage, scoring twice against the Hershey Bears and leading the Sound Tigers to a 4-1 victory.  Robin Figren contributed with a goal and an assist while Mikko Koskinen recorded his first playoff victory, stopping 26 shots.  Sean Bentivoglio had the Sound Tigers first goal of the game.  With the win, the Sound Tigers cut the Bears’ series lead to 3-1 and will travel to Hershey on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. matchup on Wednesday night at the Giant Center. 


For the third time this series, the Sound Tigers opened the scoring, this time at the 15:07 mark of the first period on a power-play goal by Bentivoglio.  Robin Figren set up in the high slot and took a pass from Mike Radja.  Instead of snapping the puck on net, the Swedish winger dished the puck to the near half-wall where Bentivoglio one-timed a shot across the grain and past Bears’ starting goalie, Braden Holtby’s blocker for the 1-0 Sound Tiger lead. 

MacDonald would put the Sound Tigers up 2-0, only 34 seconds into the second period while the Sound Tigers were on the man-advantage.  Dylan Reese and MacDonald played catch at the point before MacDonald back-pedaled to the center point position and blasted a shot through a screened Holtby for the 2-0 Sound Tiger lead.  Trevor Smith also had an assist on the play. 

The Sound Tigers went back on the power-play when Sean Collins took a two-minute penalty for slashing at 11:41 and once again it was MacDonald playing catch with Reese at the point.  MacDonald was set up at the left point, found his spot and blasted a shot over the glove of Holtby for his second of the game and third of the playoffs to give the Sound Tigers a 3-0 lead.  Holtby had no chance to see the shot as Matt Martin was set-up in front screening the Hershey net-minder. 

A healthy scratch last night, Figren returned to the Sound Tigers’ lineup and after setting up the game’s first goal, he put the Sound Tigers on top at 4-0 with 1:29 remaining in the second period.  Figren wound up and fired a slap shot over Holtby’s left shoulder, a bullet that the Bears’ goalie did not see until it was past him.  Dustin Kohn and Martin assisted on Figren’s first tally of the playoffs. 

Hershey got on the board seven minutes into the third period when Andrew Gordon snapped his fourth goal of the playoffs through Sound Tigers’ starter, Mikko Koskinen.  Keith Aucoin intercepted a breakout pass from the Sound Tigers’ zone and zipped a pass to the left circle where Gordon shoveled a shot that trickled through Koskinen to snap Koskinen’s shutout bid and cut the Sound Tiger lead to 4-1. 

Koskinen shut the door the rest of the way, stopping 26 shots en-route to his first career playoff victory.  Holtby suffered the loss, making 24 saves on 28 shots.  The Sound Tigers finished 3-for-9 on the man-advantage and a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill. 

The Sound Tigers will travel to Hershey on Tuesday in preparation for Game 5 at the Giant Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m.  If they can stave off elimination for a second straight game, the two clubs will return to Bridgeport for Game 6 on Friday at 7 p.m.  For tickets or information on any upcoming home games, contact the team’s front office at (203) 334-4625 or e-mail info@soundtigers.com. 

3 Stars:

1. Andrew MacDonald – Scores twice, including the game-winner
2. Robin Figren – Returns to the Sound Tigers’ lineup and tallies a goal and an assist
3. Mikko Koskinen – Records his first career playoff win
Honorable Mention: THE POWER-PLAY – The Sound Tigers were 1-for-16 coming into tonight’s game and went 3-for-9 on the man-advantage tonight

Shattered:  Five minutes into the game, Ashton Rome tried to finish a check on Sound Tiger defenseman Mark Wotton, but the team captain avoided the check along the near wing boards and Rome went right through the glass.  The pane shattered into hundreds of pieces and put the game on hold for about 20 minutes.  In the third, in nearly the same spot, Matt Martin tried to put Patrick Wellar through the glass but also missed and shattered a second pane of glass.

Changing the Luck: Sound Tigers’ head coach Jack Capuano made two changes to his lineup, moving Tomas Marcinko to the center and re-inserting Robin Figren to the lineup.  He also elected to start Mikko Koskinen and had Scott Munroe serve as the backup. 

Snapped: With the win, the Sound Tigers snapped their nine-game home winless streak.  The mark was the league’s longest coming into tonight’s game. 

Lineups

SOUND TIGERS

Forwards
17 Jeremy Reich – 20 Greg Mauldin – 19 Rhett Rakhshani
23 Trevor Smith – 25 Mike Radja – 3 Michael Davies
14 Sean Bentivoglio – 10 Tyler Haskins – 6 Jesse Joensuu
27 Matt Martin – 16 Tomas Marcinko – 7 Robin Figren

Defensemen
2 Andrew MacDonald – 15 Dylan Reese
5 Dustin Kohn – 12 Mark Flood
4 Mark Wotton – 26 Jon Gleed

Goalies
1 Mikko Koskinen (starter)
33 Scott Munroe

BEARS

Forwards
12 Alexandre Giroux – 11 Keith Aucoin – 10 Andrew Gordon
17 Chris Bourque – 24 Mathieu Perreault – 21 Jay Beagle
22 Francois Bouchard – 18 Kyle Wilson – 26 Ashton Rome
28 Boyd Kane – 23 Andrew Joudrey – 13 Steve Pinizzotto

Defensemen
7 Karl Alzner – 6 Sean Collins
33 Patrick Wellar – 20 Bryan Helmer
32 Greg Amadio – 5 Grant Lewis

Goalies

1 Braden Holtby  (starter)
30 Michal Neuvirth
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