By David F. Pendrys
BRIDGEPORT, CT- While the Hartford Wolf Pack are going on to the post season, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers wrapped up their season Sunday afternoon. The result however was a 2 to 1 loss for the home team as the visitors put up 2 goals within 11 seconds and that proved to be enough. With their Division Title locked up Hartford was able to rest some starters, while Bridgeport fielded their usual front liners.
After a scoreless stalemate in the first period the two teams continued to play scoreless hockey until the 16th minute of the second. During a sequence by the net, the Wolf Pack’s Chris Muller to the side of the goaltender Kevin Poulin and he backhanded it in successfully. As that goal was being announced, the puck ended up behind the net, Poulin went out to play it, and passed it, but it bounced off the net itself and in front. Hartford’s Danny Kristo attempted to pounce, but Poulin dived onto the ice to block the shot, however it rebounded to Ryan Potulny who had a lot of net open to him, and he scored easily.
When the third period began, Poulin had been replaced by Stephon Williams. Williams would not allow any Wolf Pack goals, and Bridgeport would go on the attack more as the game progressed, but Wolf Pack goaltender Jeff Malcolm was not easily beaten. It did eventually happen at 13:15 in the third when Bridgeport’s Alan Quine was fed by Brett Gallant, and he blasted the puck over Malcolm’s left shoulder. Assist also went to Aaron Ness. Despite pulling the goalie late however Bridgeport could not get the tying score. Hartford had 33 shots, and Bridgeport had 28, though for much of the game the shot deferential was much more in the Wolf Pack’s favor. Malcolm had 27 saves, Poulin 24, and Williams 9.
Mueller ends the regular season with 14 goals, Potulny has 2. Malcolm earned his 7th win, to finish the regular season 7-4-0 with a 3.14 GAA. Poulin drops to 16-21 with the loss and a 2.87 GAA. Williams has a 2.12 GAA in his short AHL career. Quine ends the season with 23 goals.
Hartford goes on to round one of the playoffs hosting Providence on Wednesday.