TIGERS STOP HEAT 4-3 (S/O)
SATURDAY, NOV. 21
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The Bridgeport Sound Tigers beat the Abbotsford Heat 4-3 in an overtime shootout to clinch both games in a back-to-back American Hockey League series at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre Saturday. The Heat fell 2-1 to the Sound Tigers on Friday. It was the third loss in the last three games for the Heat. On Saturday, the teams solved nothing in the five-minute overtime period, but the Sound Tigers scored on all three of their shots in the shootout, while the Heat scored once. In the shootout, Trevor Smith, Greg Moore and Sean Bentivoglio scored for the Sound Tigers, while Mikael Backlund fired one in under the crossbar to score the only goal for the Heat.
The teams traded excellent scoring opportunities throughout the game, with Abbotsford holding a slight advantage in play and shots through the first half of the contest. But penalties hurt the home team as they allowed Bridgeport to score three times on the powerplay. The Heat also tallied twice with the man advantage. Garth Murray led the Heat with two goals, while Riley Armstrong added a single. Bentivoglio, with two in regulation, and Jesse Joensuu, scored for the Sound Tigers. Murray also had the best chance to score in overtime. The speedy forward collected the puck at the Bridgeport blueline and skated in untouched on Bridgeport goalkeeper Scott Munroe, but his hard shot was caught in the midsection by the Sound Tigers keeper. Armstrong opened scoring in the game with his second goal of the season. Armstrong, the third star in the game, deftly deflected a hard John Negrin point shot past Bridgeport goaltender Scott Munroe at 6:25 of the first while the Heat were on the power play. The Heat carried the play in the first and the Sound Tigers didn’t register a shot on goal until 10:56 of the opening stanza. Heat outshot the Sound Tigers 18-8 in the first 20 minutes.
Heat defenceman Matt Pelech was assessed a five minute elbowing penalty and a game misconduct after a hit on Greg Moore late in the first period. Because of the penalty, the Heat were forced to kill a two-man disadvantage for 51 seconds to start the second period and were one-man short for almost three minutes but Heat goalkeeper Matt Keetley was sharp in goal and the team played solid defence in front of him and the Heat weathered the storm Murray scored his third goal of the season when he deflected a Keith Seabrook point shot at 5:54 of the second period on the powerplay. Sound Tiger winger Sean Bentivoglio’s low point shot hit the stick of Heat defender Brad Cole and the puck slipped past Keetley to bring Bridgeport to within one goal on the powerplay at 7:10 of the second period. Murray scored his second goal of the game and fourth of the season on a beautiful solo effort. Murray carried the puck around a Bridgeport defender and neatly tucked the puck under the pads of a falling Munroe to give the Heat a 3-1 lead after two periods.
The Sound Tigers capitalized on the powerplay for the second time in game when forward Bentivigolio scored his second goal of the game at 8:39 of the third, while Mikael Backlund served a tripping penalty. Sound Tigers scored their third powerplay marker of the game when Jesse Joensuu walked around the Heat defence and beat Keetley at 11:16 of the third period to knot the score at 3-3. The goal would eventually force overtime.