The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Wolf Pack, who had won three straight head-to-head vs. Bridgeport.
The Sound Tigers outshot the Wolf Pack 12-3 in the third, and capitalized on their first power play of the game. That was after Chris Bigras was called for slashing at 9:20, with the teams already skating four-on-four.
Bourque scored at 9:59, on a one-timer from the right side of the slot, off of a pass from the middle of the blue line by Sebastian Aho, his second assist of the game.
Bridgeport had a full two-minutes of two-man advantage later in the third, after Dawson Leedahl (interference) and Brandon Crawley (boarding) were both called for minor penalties at the 15:16 mark, but the Wolf Pack were able to kill that off.
“They score the goal, we’re still within striking distance, and then we don’t give ourselves a chance to at least tie it up at the end of that period,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said.
“I thought it was a real good game,” McCambridge added. “Early, I liked our energy. I thought we played with some tempo, some pace. Middle of the second period, for a block of about seven minutes, they took some momentum from us. In the third period, I thought we were going decently, and then they score the goal, and we were on our heels a little bit. But, back and forth, that was anybody’s chance to pull two points out of that game.
After the two clubs played more than 37 scoreless minutes, they combined for two goals in 1:37 late in the second period.
Otto Koivula finally opened the scoring at 15:49, with his sixth goal of the season. A shot from the blue line by Aho hit traffic in front of the goal, and Kyle Burroughs tracked down the carom on the right side. He flung it on net from below the faceoff dot, and Koivula got his stick loose in front of the goal and put the rebound past Wolf Pack goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (29 saves).
Boo Nieves tied it right back up for the Wolf Pack, though, at 17:26. Matt Beleskey worked the puck to John Gilmour in the right-wing corner, and he sent a perfect pass to Nieves at the left side of the slot, for a forehand finish.
That would be the only one of 26 Hartford shots to get past Bridgeport backstop Jeremy Smith, though, and the Wolf Pack got a break at the 6:10 mark of the third, when an apparent goal by Bridgeport’s Michael Dal Colle was reversed after a video review.
After Bourque’s power-play goal and the Sound Tigers’ inability to take advantage of the long 5-on-3, the Wolf Pack went up a man with 1:52 remaining, when Burroughs was called for slashing. Hartford got Georgiev to the bench for an extra attacker, but did not seriously threaten Smith’s net.
The Wolf Pack are back in home-ice action at the XL Center this Friday night, December 7, hosting the Eastern Conference-leading Charlotte Checkers. Faceoff on Friday night is 7:15 PM, and that game features $1 hot dogs, and $2 beers and fountain sodas, through the start of the second period, presented by Nomads Adventure Quest.
Tickets for all 2018-19 Wolf Pack home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Tickets purchased in advance for kids 12 or younger start at just $13 each, and all tickets will have a $3 day-of-game increase.
Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2018-19 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.
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