Goaltender Billy Thompson kicked aside 48 shots, Mark Wotton had a goal and two assists and Eric Boguniecki added two goals to lift the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to a 5-3 win over the Binghamton Senators on Sunday afternoon. The win was Bridgeport's fifth in a row overall, their sixth straight on home ice and it came before an Arena at Harbor Yard crowd of 6,884. The Sound Tigers improved to 25-20-1-4 and the Senators fell to 15-28-2-5, with the Sound Tigers claiming a 5-2 edge in the eight game season series.
After a scoreless first period in which Thompson made 18 saves, Bridgeport broke the game open with three second-period power play goals - the first two coming in a span of 44 seconds. Brandon Nolan got things going with his eighth of the season 7:21 into the period when he stick-handled along the goal line and found the net on a low shot. The goal came during a five-on-three power play and was assisted by Blake Comeau and Jamie Fraser. Boguniecki put in a rebound during the ensuing five-on-four man advantage to make it 2-0 at 8:05. Wotton and Steve Regier earned assists on Boguniecki's 15th goal. Boguniecki extended his goal-scoring streak to four games.
Mark Wotton fired a power play slap shot through a screen during for a 3-0 lead at the 14:08 mark of the middle period. Robert Nilsson and Regier assisted the goal.
The teams traded goals in the third period. The Senators cut the lead to 3-1 on Arttu Luttinen's even strength goal just 2:42 into the stanza. Boguniecki re-gained the three-goal cushion when he took a long feed from Wotton and fired a slap shot into the top corner of the net past Senators' goaltender Kelly Guard. Wotton spotted Boguniecki streaking through the neutral zone and hit him with a pass near the Senators' blue line. Jeremy Colliton also picked up an assist on Boguniecki's second goal of the game, which made it 4-1 at 9:01 of the third. Wotton has two goals and three assists in his last two games.
The Senators again got to within a pair when high-scorer Josh Hennessy roofed his 21st tally of the season at 11:53. Comeau stole the puck and scored into an empty net on a shot from his own blue line during a penalty kill at 18:10 to make it 5-2 Bridgeport. The Senators got the final goal when Jeff Heerema scored his team-leading 24th from the high slot during a five-on-three power play.
Things got testy with the team's combining for 77 penalty minutes - 53 in the final 1:50 of the game. The Sound Tigers were 3-for-7 on the power play and the Senators were 1-for-9 on the advantage. The Sound Tigers were outshot 51-24. The fourth-place Sound Tigers pulled seven points ahead of fifth-place, idle Albany in the East Division race for the fourth and final playoff slot.
The Sound Tigers next play on Friday, Feb. 16 when the Lowell Devils visit the Arena for a 7:30 face-off. Great seats are available at the Arena at Harbor Yard Box Office. For schedule and ticket information, including group discount opportunities, visit soundtigers.com or call 334-4625.