Hartford, CT – – Bracken Kearns’ second-period goal held up as the game-winner for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Saturday night, in a 2-1 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center.
Ryan Graves had the only Wolf Pack goal of the game, and Michael Dal Colle also scored for Bridgeport. Jaroslav Halak started the game in the Sound Tiger net and stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced, before having to leave the game due to an injury. Stephon Williams was forced to stop only two shots in relief. Brandon Halverson made 28 saves for the Wolf Pack.
Dal Colle opened the scoring at the 14:42 mark of the first period, moving down the left side in the Wolf Pack zone and using defenseman Steven Kampfer as a screen, to fire a shot past Halverson’s catching glove.
That was the only scoring until 16:01 of the second period, when Kearns extended Bridgeport’s lead to 2-0. Loic Leduc fired a slap shot from the right point and Kearns deflected it past Halverson, who also had to deal from pressure from Steve Bernier.
The Wolf Pack answered that goal only 2:03 later, at 18:04, when Graves scored off of a 3-on-2. Steven Fogarty played the puck to the middle off of right wing, and Graves blasted his fifth goal of the season past Halak’s glove side.
Halak was forced from the game with 38.5 seconds left in the period, after being hit by a high shot off of the stick of Ahti Oksanen.
The Wolf Pack were shorthanded three times in the third period, and were outshot 10-2 in the session.
“It was a back and forth game,” Graves said. “We had our chances and they had theirs. It’s just kind of the way it goes sometimes. We can have one of those nights and not win.”
Head Coach Ken Gernander commented, “I wasn’t happy with some of our passes. I thought we could’ve done more and generated more offense.”