The Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost a wild affair Sunday, falling to the Binghamton Senators by a score of 6-5 in overtime. John Persson had two goals and an assist while Ryan Strome chipped in with a goal and an assist as well, but an overtime goal from Mike Hoffman was the deciding goal in a game in which the Sound Tigers battled valiantly.
Binghamton opened up the scoring with two goals in a span of 47 seconds early in the first period, both of which came on the power play. After a Brock Nelson charging penalty, Shane Prince got the puck out to Troy Rutkowski waiting at the right point. Rutkowski wound up and ripped a one-timer past Nilsson for the opening goal. Just 24 seconds later, Dallas Jackson was called for slashing and Mike Zibanejad beat Nilsson with an identical shot.
Later in the first, Binghamton converted on yet another power play. Mike Hoffman took a pass inside the right circle and snapped a wrist shot past Nilsson, making it 3-0 and chasing the Swedish goaltender from the game.
Before the first period came to a close, the Sound Tigers got one back on Ryan Strome’s first of the season. Mike Halmo redirected a shot from the point, and though Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond made the save, Strome was at the doorstep to power home the rebound.
Just one minute into the second period, the Sound Tigers drew within a goal after a perfectly executed odd-man rush. Anders Lee led the 3-on-2 charge into the Ottawa zone and dropped a pass to Johan Sundstrom. Sundstrom faked a shot and instead sent it down low to Persson, who tapped the puck in for the goal.
The Sound Tigers tied the game early in the third on Persson’s second goal of the contest. With his team on the power play, Persson took a feed from Sundstrom in the slot and rifled a one-timer past Hammond for the goal. Just 1:04 later, however, the Senators retook the lead on a goal from Cole Schneider.
Later in the prei, the Sound Tigers picked up another power play opportunity, but Schneider capitalized after Andrey Pedan fanned on a shot from the point, and converted on a 2-on-1 opportunity.
But once again the Sound Tigers clawed back. First, Mike Halmo took a pass from Persson and was all alone out front. He went backhand on Hammond to make it a one-goal game. Just more than a minute later, a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play from Ryan Strome to Brock Nelson to Johan Sundstrom tied the game at 5.
Neither team scored again, but Hoffman’s second goal of the game was the game-winner. The Sound Tigers gave up power-play goals on all four penalties they attempted to kill Sunday.
The Sound Tigers will travel to Syracuse to face the Crunch in their first road contest of the season on Friday.
NOTES: John Persson had three points for the first time in his AHL career… Persson's second-period power-play goal broke a string of 20 straight power plays without a goal for the Sound Tigers… Troy Rutkowski's goal for Binghamton was the first of his professional career… Former Sound Tigers goaltender Nathan Lawson dressed for the Senators but did not play… Brock Nelson played his first game of the season for the Sound Tigers after being loaned to Bridgeport by by the Islanders… Nick Larson played his first game of the season for the Sound Tigers after being recalled from Stockton (ECHL)
Sound Tigers Lines
29 Brock Nelson-18 Ryan Strome-26 Mike Halmo
9 Anders Lee-28 Johan Sundstrom-23 John Persson
39 Joey Diamond-19 Riley Wetmore-17 Nick Larson
14 Greg Miller-72 Jason Clark-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