This one could easily be subtitled “Poulin Saves!”
Kevin Poulin, the top netminder for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers who recently did a short stint in the NHL with the Sound Tigers’ parent club, the New York Islanders, turned in a career performance by turning aside 51 shots to lead the Tigers to a 6-2 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms before 3,909 fans at the Glens Falls (N.Y.) Civic Center on Friday night. It was the Sound Tigers sixth straight road victory, and the 10th straight game in which Bridgeport had recorded at least one point.
While the Phantoms drew first blood when Tom Sestito beat Poulin from the slot with 5:26 remaining in the first period, six different Sound Tigers— Justin DiBenedetto, team captain Jeremy Colliton, Jon Landry, Trevor Frischmon, Tyler McNeely, and Casey Cizikas—eventually found the back of the Adirondack net. Colliton and Landry tallied s on the power play, while Frischmon’s goal was scored short-handed. In addition, Cizikas and Steve Olesky picked up two helpers, while and DiBenedetto also had an assist to register multi-point games.
The Sound Tigers easily won the special teams battle, going 2-for-5 on the power play and stopping Adirondack 7 of 8 times the Phantoms held a man-advantage.
With the win, Bridgeport improves to 21-17-3-2 (47 points) and are 9-0-0-1 in the month of January. Furthermore, the Sound Tigers pull into a flat-footed tie with the slumping Connecticut Whale, who dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins, for first place in the AHL Northeast Division. The Whale are now 0-5-3-2 in their last 10 contests. It was fourth straight defeat for the fourth-place Phantoms, who fall to 21-20-1-1.
Poulin’s performance was one save shy of the team record of 52 set by Wade Dubielewicz during the 2006-07 season.
The Sound Tigers will finish their tour of Upstate New York with their only visit of the season to Syracuse to take on the Crunch Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. After stopping off in Maine to visit the Portland Pirates on Friday, the Tigers finally return home to host the Manchester Monarchs next Saturday night, Feb. 4. First puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at The Webster Bank Arena.