Gibson, 25 saves, helps Sound Tigers hang on against Providence

January 21, 2018

BRIDGEPORT — If Christopher Gibson was questionable during the week, his performance Saturday night for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers was an exclamation mark.

The last 10 shots of the game belonged to Providence, and the goalie stopped the last nine of them in the Sound Tigers’ 3-2 win over the Bruins at Webster Bank Arena.

Gibson (15-8-2) had been banged up in Tuesday’s game in Charlotte, N.C.

“It was just a day-to-day thing,” Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson said. “The initial injury was lower-body, and we’d have him re-evaluated in the morning.”

The first thought was that he wouldn’t be able to dress this weekend, and it was initially touch-and-go whether he could dress Wednesday, so the team called Eamon McAdam up on Thursday.

“Going through the last couple of days,” Thompson said, “he continually surprised everyone.”

Gibson, on the training table, was unavailable after the game. He finished with 25 saves

Josh Ho-Sang had a goal and an assist, and Casey Bailey and Kyle Schempp scored for Bridgeport, which is 5-0-1-1 in its past seven home games and is 5-1 against the Bruins this season.

“We’ve had their number, and I’m sure they’re not happy. They’re a first-place team,” Ho-Sang said.

Ho-Sang opened the scoring, pouncing after defenseman Jakub Zboril fanned on a pass at the left point. With Connor Clifton chasing him up the middle, Ho-Sang carried to goalie Jordan Binnington’s left and slipped a changeup short-side 5:11 into the game.

His assist came on a power play, a one-timer that fluttered up and down in an arc toward the net, where Casey Bailey tipped it home to make it 3-1 in the second period.

Thompson praised the all-around game Saturday for Ho-Sang, sent down from the New York Islanders five weeks ago.

“It’s been good. It’s coming along,” Ho-Sang said. “They’ll call me when they’re ready for me.”

Providence got goals from Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (power play) and Colby Cave, cutting the Bridgeport lead to one goal each time. The Sound Tigers had the first five shots of the third period before Cave scored off a pass from onetime Sound Tiger Justin Hickman with 11:59 to go.

With Thompson shortening the bench late, Bridgeport held on.

Kyle Schempp scored Bridgeport’s second goal. Ben Holmstrom’s initial shot was blocked across to Kyle Burroughs in the right circle. Binnington stopped Burroughs’ shot, but the rebound hit Schempp, battling in front, and caromed in.

Burroughs quipped to broadcaster Alan Fuehring on Tuesday’s broadcast that, with all-star defense partner Devon Toews out after season-ending shoulder surgery, he had to pick up the scoring slack. After six points in his first 31 games, he has six in the past eight.

“I think it’s just coming,” Burroughs said. “I do focus a lot on my defensive game, but I try not to shy away from offense, either. Today, put a puck on net, it hits a guy’s shinpad, goes in the net.”

Attendance was 3,905 on a night when Toews’ bobblehead likeness was a giveaway.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp; blog.ctnews.com/fornabaio




First Period — 1, Bridgeport, Ho-Sang 5, 5:11. Penalties — Beleskey, Pro (delay of game), :17; Stevens, Bpt (slashing), 2:33; Burroughs, Bpt (interference), 10:53.

Second Period — 2, Bridgeport, Schempp 2 (Burroughs, B.Holmstrom), 3:43. 3, Providence, Forsbacka Karlsson 12 (O’Gara, Agostino), 11:52 (pp). 4, Bridgeport, Bailey 10 (Ho-Sang, Wotherspoon), 14:38 (pp). Penalties — St. Denis, Bpt (slashing), 10:37; Bjork, Pro (tripping), 13:11; Helgeson, Bpt (holding), 17:15; Ho-Sang, Bpt (hooking), 19:45.

Third Period — 5, Providence, Cave 4 (Hickman, Fitzgerald), 8:01. Penalties — Hargrove, Pro (roughing), 3:29; Cullity, Bpt (tripping), 9:50.

Shots on goal — Providence 11-6-10—27. Bridgeport 8-17-5—30.

Power play opportunities — Providence 1 of 6, Bridgeport 1 of 3.

Goaltenders — Providence, Binnington 10-4-1 (30 shots-27 saves). Bridgeport, Gibson 15-8-2 (27-25).

Attendance — 3,905. Referees — C.Syvret, Gouin. Linesmen — Tobias, Hejna.