The Bridgeport Sound Tigers needed a shootout, but defeated the Norfolk Admirals 4-3 Sunday at Webster Bank Arena. Five of the six goals came in the second period, with Riley Wetmore, Andrey Pedan and Joey Diamond notching markers. Anders Nilsson made 32 of 35 saves to earn his first win of the season.
“I thought we played well,” Sound Tigers head coach Scott Pellerin said. “Overall, there are some things we can work on, but at the end of the day it’s always good to get two points.”
Bridgeport earned its way to overtime killing off nearly five minutes in penalties in the final stages of regulation, including more than a minute of 5-on-3 play with less than two minutes left. Anders Lee was called for a high-sticking double minor, which was followed by a goaltender interference call on Chris Bruton. The Admirals peppered Nilsson, but he turned aside everything that came his way.
“I have to give credit to Scott Mayfield and Joe Finley, who were both out there with [Johan Sundstrom] on the 5-on-3,” Pellerin said. “They played great there in a tough spot and kept the game tied.”
Finley was also quick to credit his goaltender for forcing overtime.
“Your goaltender has to be your best penalty killer,” Finley said. “And Anders definitely was.”
There was no scoring in the first period, but the teams made up for it with plenty of back-and-forth action in the second. Norfolk opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 4:56 after Chris Wagner’s failed wraparound attempt came right out front to Mitch Friberg. His shot beat Nilsson and the Admirals led 1-0.
The Sound Tigers answered with a shorthanded goal of their own less than four minutes later as Finley broke up the Admirals breakout and poked the puck to Wetmore. He walked in all alone on Admirals goaltender John Gibson and beat him to tie the score. Before the power play was over, however, Richard Rakell’s one-timer gave the Admirals a 2-1 lead.
Forty-four seconds later, a blast from Pedan tied the score at two. Later in the period, the Sound Tigers took the lead, this time on the power play. Ryan Strome, who had two assists and a shootout goal, fed the puck to the point for Dallas Jackson. He threw it on net, and Diamond was there to collect the rebound and poke it in to give the Sound Tigers a 3-2 lead.
The score remained 3-2 headed into the third period, but Norfolk scored once again shorthanded, with Devante Smith-Pelly getting credit for the goal. On a similar play to Norfolk’s first tally, Joseph Cramarossa fed the puck out in front, where Smith-Pelly found the back of the net to tie the score.
Neither team scored in the rest of regulation or overtime as both goaltenders found their stride late in the game. Both Strome and Rakell picked up goals in the first round of the shootout, but John Persson’s goal in the sixth round was the next and final goal, giving the Sound Tigers a 4-3 victory.
Bridgeport is back in action Saturday night against the Manchester Monarchs. The puck drops from Webster Bank Arena at 7 p.m.
Sound Tigers Lines
9 Anders Lee-18 Ryan Strome- 39 Joey Diamond
23 John Persson-28 Johan Sundstrom-16 Chris Bruton
72 Jason Clark-19 Riley Wetmore-77 Kirill Kabanov
14 Greg Miller-22 Alan Quine-49 Justin Johnson
12 Calvin de Haan-52 Joe Finley
3 Andrey Pedan-21 Dallas Jackson
27 Aaron Ness-10 Scott Mayfield
45 Anders Nilsson
35 Kenny Reiter