BOX SCORE - PENGUINS 2, SOUND TIGERS 1 (SO)
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (Feb. 24, 2013) – Riley Holzapfel’s tally in the bottom of the fourth round of the shootout proved to be a game-winner, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Brad Thiessen denied Brock Nelson’s shot to lead off the fifth round as the Penguins beat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-1 at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Penguins improve to 29-22-2-1. The Sound Tigers earn a point with the shootout loss as their record moves to 22-23-3-4.
Neither team found the back of the net in final 41 minutes of regulation and overtime, prompting the bonus round at Webster Bank Arena. Chad Kolarik led the shootout off by firing over Kenny Reiter’s glove to put the Penguins ahead, but Jack Combs brought the Sound Tigers even in the top of the third round by slipping a backhand shot through Thiessen’s five-hole. The Sound Tigers are now 2-4 in shootouts this season.
The Sound Tigers grabbed a lead just 4:14 into regulation. Jon Landry faked a slap shot from the top of the right circle and fed a streaking Aaron Ness at the left circle, who fired a wrist shot over Thiessen’s blocker for his second goal of the season. The two teams combined for just 14 shots in the period, and the Sound Tigers carried their one-goal lead into the second period.
Veteran forward Tom Kostopoulos brought the Penguins even 4:13 into the middle frame, deflecting Joe Morrow’s point shot over Reiter’s blocker for his first goal this season. The teams remained deadlocked into the third period, where the Sound Tigers outshot the Penguins 13-7 and had the best scoring opportunities late in the period when Adam Payerl was sent off for tripping with less than four minutes left in regulation. However, Bridgeport couldn’t solve Thiessen, leading to overtime and eventually the shootout.
Kenny Reiter was impressive in his second start in less than 24 hours, stopping 26 of 27 shots through regulation and overtime as well as two of four shooters in the shootout. Brad Thiessen made 34 saves to earn the win for the Penguins.
The Sound Tigers return to action next Friday when they travel to Hartford to face the Connecticut Whale at 7:00 p.m.
1. WBS – Brad Thiessen
2. BRI – Kenny Reiter
3. WBS – Riley Holzapfel
NOTES – The Sound Tigers went 0-for-3 on the power play and are 0-for-23 on the man-advantage over the past six games … Head Coach Scott Pellerin shifted lines throughout the game in an attempt to generate offense against the league leaders in goals allowed … The Sound Tigers are now winless in their last six games (0-4-1-1) … Sunday was Mark Wotton Bobblehead Day; the first 2,000 fans in attendance received a Mark Wottom Bobblehead, courtesy of Newtown Savings Bank.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
23 John Persson – 29 Brock Nelson – 77 Kirill Kabanov
22 Nino Niederreiter – 14 Matt Watkins (C) – 16 Sean Backman
42 Brandon DeFazio – 4 Scott Campbell – 20 Blair Riley
40 Mike Halmo – 5 Jack Combs – 18 Chad Costello
27 Aaron Ness – 7 Jon Landry (A)
46 Matt Donovan – 6 Ty Wishart
2 Dallas Jackson – 8 Nathan McIver (A)
30 Kenny Reiter (starter)
35 Steve Valiquette