The Providence Bruins improved to 18-13-0-2 with a 5-4 win against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The team scored three goals in the first period Craig Cunningham had his first multi goal game of the season.
Providence started the game with the upper hand in the first period and set the tone for the period. Despite the first half of the period being scoreless, the P-Bruins exploded offensively in the later half. Christian Hanson opened the scoring at 11:43 when he got a shot off from the left faceoff to make it 1-0. Former Bridgeport Sound Tiger Tyler McNeely, who signed a pro tryout agreement on Wednesday, had the assist in his Providence Bruins debut. The P-Bruins continued to put pucks on the net and extended their lead to 2-0 when Torey Krug's shot from just inside the zone rang the post as it went in. Less than a minute later, Craig Cunningham took a pass from Maxime Sauve just as he fell to the ice but still managed to knock the puck into the net from the ice. The last time the P-Bruins scored three goals in the first period was their 4-3 win over the Manchester Monarchs on October 19th. Niklas Svedberg was flawless in the first period and played strong when he was most needed within the last minute of play when a bad bounce prompted him to sprawl out in the crease and cover up the puck for the save.
The Sound Tigers were not giving up on the game after only the first period and came out firing in the opening minutes of the middle frame. In just six and a half minutes the visitors matched their shot total they had for the entirety of the first period while holding Providence to only one with shots at 16-14. The P-Bruins picked up the pace soon after and would keep Bridgeport from even registering a shot for almost another 10 minutes of play. Despite hard play from the Sound Tigers, the P-Bruins made it 4-0 with another goal from Cunningham to give him his first multi goal game of his career. Sauve picked up his second point of the night with an assist and an assist to Carter Camper gave him three points as he had assists on Cunningham's first goal and Krug's goal. Tommy Cross tallied his first goal of the season late in the period on Providence's third power play chance with a shot from the left face-off circle. Trent Whitfield and Kevan Miller both had assists on the goal for their second points of the season. The rest of the period remained quiet with the P-Bruins wrapping up the period with a commanding 5-0 lead and lead in shots 24-17.
Just as they had in the second period, Bridgeport came out hard for the last 20 minutes of play in the third period. Their hard work paid off much to Providence's dismay with a goal from Travis Hamonic as 5:42 to opening the scoring and break Svedberg's potential shut out. The Sound Tigers kept at it and Aaron Ness pulled his team within three goals at 9:33 of the period and then David Ullstrom made it 5-3 moments later. McNeely had two of the best chances for the P-Bruins in the period with a breakaway half way through and leading a 2-on-1 rush with two minutes to go. Despite the chances for McNeely, the Sound Tigers kept piling on the goals with a goal from Johan Sundstrom to make it a one goal game. That would be it for scoring and Providence hung on to win 5-4, their first victory against the Sound Tigers this season.