Brendan Witt has settled in nicely with the Sound Tigers, bringing veteran leadership and a tough stay-at-home defenseman mentality to the team’s blue-line. Tonight, he added his first goal of the season, which was the eventual game-winner to lead the Sound Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack. Greg Mauldin was the game’s first star, recording a goal and an assist to add to his team lead in scoring, now at 43 points. The Sound Tigers improve to 27-24-3-6 with 63 points and are in fifth place in the Atlantic Division.
Through the first period of play, the Sound Tigers and Wolf Pack were scoreless but the opening 20 minutes were full of fights and scuffles. Jeremy Reich and Jared Nightingale dropped the gloves within the first minute of play with Reich seeming to earn the nod. The Sound Tigers’ best opportunity came off the stick of defenseman Mark Flood when he took a feed in the right circle and walked in alone on Wolf Pack starting goalie Matt Zaba. Flood was concentrating on getting a shot off before the buzzer sounded, wristing a shot that Zaba trapped in between his right arm and body.
In the second period, both teams were able to get on the board. Mauldin, the team’s leading scorer with 41 points, broke the scoreless tie to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead. Greg Moore settled the down in the Wolf Pack end before dishing a pass to Mark Flood at the center-point position. Flood walked the blue-line and fed the puck to Mauldin at the left point where he fired a slap shot past a screened Zaba for his 20th goal of the season.
It was Hartford’s leading scorer, Corey Locke evening the score with his 24th tally of the season. Wolf Pack defenseman Nigel Williams unloaded a shot that went wide, past the left post. Sound Tigers’ starting net-minder, Nathan Lawson was out of position because he was prepared for the Williams shot that redirected off the end boards and out to Locke at the right post, where he back-handed the puck past Lawson’s out-stretched glove to tie the score at 1-1.
For the first time since the 1996-97 season, Witt tallied a goal in the AHL and it came at the 11:53 mark of the third period. Hartford skated into the Sound Tigers’ zone on a two-on-one but Mark Flood broke up the play. The Sound Tiger defenseman fed a pass to Mauldin in the neutral where he skated into the zone on a three-on-two. Greg Moore drove to the net, opening a passing lane for Mauldin to saucer a feed to Witt in the far circle. Witt found his spot and snapped a shot past the blocker of Zaba for his first goal of the season, giving the Sound Tigers the 2-1 victory over the Wolf Pack.
Lawson earned his 11th win of the season, making 21 saves on 22 shots while his counterpart Zaba stopped 28 shots. The Sound Tigers were 1-for-8 on the power-play and went 5-for-6 on the penalty-kill.
The Sound Tigers will return to action on Wednesday when the Abbotsford Heat return to Arena at Harbor Yard for the final time this season. For tickets or information on how to receive group discounted rates, contact the team’s front office at (203) 334-4625 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Greg Mauldin – Record a point on both Sound Tiger goals
2. Brendan Witt – Tallies his first goal of the season, a game-winner
3. Matt Zaba – The only reason the Wolf Pack had a shot to win the game, making 28 saves
Honorable Mention: Mark Flood – Records two assists
23 Trevor Smith – 20 Greg Mauldin – 6 Jesse Joensuu
14 Sean Bentivoglio – 10 Tyler Haskins – 27 Matt Martin
7 Robin Figren – 17 Jeremy Reich – 15 Greg Moore
9 Justin DiBenedetto – 18 Micheal Haley – 55 Pascal Morency
26 Jon Gleed – 24 Brett Westgarth
32 Brendan Witt – 12 Mark Flood
4 Mark Wotton – 22 Anton Klementyev
52 Nathan Lawson (starter)
33 Scott Munroe
19 Evgeny Grachev– 46 Jordan Owens – 84 Corey Locke
34 Dane Byers – 20 Paul Crowder – 16 Kenny Roche
14 Justin Soryal – 9 Brodie Dupont – 23 Dale Weise
87 Donald Brashear – 36 Ryan Garlock – 28 Derek Couture
8 David Urquhart – 3 Corey Potter
55 Nigel Williams – 27 Jared Nightingale
49 Ilkka Heikkinen – 21 Bobby Sanguinetti
30 Matt Zaba (starter)
29 Chad Johnson