BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (18-14-1-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, battled back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to earn a point on Friday, but suffered a 3-2 loss in overtime to the Binghamton Senators (15-18-2-1) at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
Bracken Kearns and Steve Bernier each scored in the third period, while Jaroslav Halak (1-0-2) made 32 saves on 35 shots. It was the fourth straight one-goal game for the Sound Tigers, and the 19th one-goal contest for the team overall this season (11-6-1-1).
With the setback, Bridgeport concluded its season-series against Binghamton with a 3-0-1-0 record. The win was the Senators’ first over the Sound Tigers since Jan. 17, 2014.
Following a scoreless opening frame, the Senators struck first with a shorthanded tally courtesy of Max McCormick at 8:35 of the second. With Ben Harpur in the box for cross-checking, Michael Kostka ripped a shot from the right circle that Halak turned back, but the rebound caromed to the slot where McCormick beat the netminder’s blocker. It was McCormick’s ninth goal of the season and just the second shorthanded goal the Sound Tigers have allowed.
Binghamton doubled its lead just 33 seconds into the third period on a goal from Phil Varone. Harpur carried the puck down the right wing before forcing a pass to the doorstep, where Varone nudged it past Halak’s right leg pad for his eighth tally of the season.
The Sound Tigers battled back to force overtime with a pair of goals from two veterans in the final 15 minutes. Bernier made it 2-1 at the 5:23 mark when he slipped a redirection under Chris Driedger’s glove. Andrew Rowe created the attack at the right point, entering the zone 1-on-4, but delaying long enough for help to arrive. He forced a pass to Josh Winquist on the left wing where the third-year pro fed Bernier at the doorstep. It was Bernier’s 12th goal of the season.
Kearns tied the game on the power play with his team-leading 13th goal of the season at 16:48. With Kostka in the box for slashing, Kearns received a pass from Devon Toews in the right circle and drilled a one-timer over Driedger’s glove to make it 2-2. Meanwhile, Toews notched his team-best 19th assist with the only helper.
Jack Rodewald played hero just 1:29 into overtime when he nudged Varone’s centering feed across the goal line past Halak’s left leg. It was Rodewald’s 11th goal this season.
The Sound Tigers finished the contest 1-for-4 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. Driedger made 33 saves and improved to 8-5-2 this season.
The shots were even, 35-35.