STROME LEADS SOUND TIGERS PAST SHARKS
WORCESTER, Mass. (April 2, 2013) – Sound Tigers forward and New York Islanders 2011 first-round pick Ryan Strome recorded a goal and an assist in his professional debut, and Joey Diamond’s first pro goal turned out to be the game-winner as Bridgeport scored four unanswered goals to come back and defeat the Worcester Sharks 4-2 at DCU Center on Tuesday night. With the win the Sound Tigers improve to 28-28-6-5 overall. The Sharks fall to 29-29-2-6.
The Sharks took a 1-0 lead just 1:26 into the game, when Daniil Tarasov snuck behind the Sound Tigers defense and backhanded the puck through Rick DiPietro’s five-hole for his 10th goal of the season to give Worcester the early advantage. Freddie Hamilton increased the Sharks lead 6:59 into the first period, after he got loose in front of DiPietro and fired over his left shoulder to give Worcester a 2-0 lead.
Strome began the Sound Tigers comeback with his first pro goal at 17:59 of the first period. Brock Nelson won a faceoff in the right circle of the Worcester zone to Strome, who fired a shot over the left shoulder of Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock to cut the Bridgeport deficit in half leading to the second period.
Ty Wishart brought the Sound Tigers even just 2:16 into the second period. Sean Backman held the puck at the bottom of the left circle of the Worcester zone and fired a pass through the low slot to Wishart, who shot past Stalock for his sixth goal of the season to tie the game at two.
Strome’s hard work in the Worcester zone led to the eventual game-winning goal. The fifth overall pick of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft stole the puck from a Shark as he tried to exit the Worcester zone, skated along the right half-wall and sent a centering pass towards the slot. Diamond worked to create space in front of Stalock and deflected Strome’s feed past Stalock for his first pro goal to give the Sound Tigers a 3-2 lead with 53 seconds remaining in the second period.
Brandon DeFazio provided insurance for the Sound Tigers 5:10 into the final frame, sending a wraparound attempt through Stalock’s pads for his 11th goal of the season to increase the Bridgeport lead to two. The Sound Tigers outshot the Sharks 12-6 in the final period, and Rick DiPietro made six of his 23 saves in the final period to clinch the win for the Sound Tigers.
The Sound Tigers and Sharks will close out their home-and-home series on Thursday morning at Webster Bank Arena at 11:00 a.m. for Spring Fun 102, which highlights the importance of education in sports.
NOTES: The Sound Tigers had five first-round draft picks in the starting lineup (Strome, Nelson, Niederreiter, Wishart, DiPietro); Matt Donovan was the Islanders fourth-round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, who was a plus-2 in the game and now leads the team with a plus-14 rating … Rick DiPietro made 23 saves and improves to 6-5-0 … Both teams went 0-for-4 on the power play; Bridgeport didn’t have its first power play until the 5:47 mark of the third period … Diamond registered his second fight in as many games when Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty jumped him following a boarding penalty on Diamond … Doherty is listed at 6’7, while Diamond is one foot shorter at just 5’7 … There were three fights in the game, including Nathan McIver and Doherty after Doherty exited the penalty box following his fight with Diamond; McIver leads the Sound Tigers in penalty minutes with 266, 29 shy of Eric Godard’s single-season record of 295 … The Sound Tigers wore their home white jerseys in the game.
1. BRI: Ryan Strome
2. BRI: Joey Diamond
3. WOR: Matt Nieto
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
22 Nino Niederreiter – 29 Brock Nelson – 18 Ryan Strome
23 John Persson – 28 Johan Sundstrom – 16 Sean Backman
32 Joey Diamond – 14 Matt Watkins (C) – 77 Kirill Kabanov
42 Brandon DeFazio – 4 Scott Campbell – 20 Blair Riley
46 Matt Donovan – 6 Ty Wishart
27 Aaron Ness – 7 Jon Landry (A)
5 Mike Keenan – 8 Nathan McIver
39 Rick DiPietro (starter)
45 Anders Nilsson