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The Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost to the Syracuse Crunch Saturday night by a score of 5-0. The Crunch had five different goal scorers in the contest, while goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 22 shots he saw for his first AHL win and shutout. Anders Nilsson got the start in net for the Sound Tigers but was replaced by Kenny Reiter after two periods.
Neither team scored in the first period, though the Sound Tigers had four power plays with which to work, including a 1:33 five-on-three advantage. They managed just five shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes, however, while Syracuse put eight shots on Anders Nilsson. The best chance for either team did not register a shot on goal, though, as Riley Wetmore rifled a one-timer from the base of the left circle that rang off the post early in the frame. Nilsson also came up big later in the period on a Nikita Nesterov breakaway opportunity.
The Crunch stepped on the gas pedal in the second period and didn’t let off, scoring five times and finishing the frame with a commanding lead. Just 49 seconds into the second, the Sound Tigers were unable to capitalize at one end and the Crunch took it the other way before a wrist shot from J.P. Cote snuck past Nilsson. Less than two minutes later, Vlad Namestnikov drove to the net up the middle to beat Nilsson and make it 2-0.
The Crunch also scored three goals in the final five minutes of the second period. Eight seconds after a John Persson minor, Syracuse won the draw back to Matt Taormina, whose wrist shot from the blue line beat Nilsson for the goal. A minute and a half later, Evan Rankin broke in on net and beat Nilsson for the fourth Crunch goal of the period.
The Sound Tigers picked up a power play with 21 seconds remaining in the middle period, but the Crunch took advantage of that as well, as Cedric Paquette took it himself down the right wing on a 2-on-1 and beat Nilsson, making it 5-0 after two.
The lone highlight for the Sound Tigers in the second period was a long fight between Brett Gallant and Eric Neilson. Both players exchanged haymakers at center ice for the better part of a minute before ending the bout standing.
Neither team scored in the third period, as the Crunch were able to coast to a 5-0 victory.
The Sound Tigers play the middle game of their three-game road trip Wednesday with a 7:00 p.m. matchup against the Hartford Wolfpack.
NOTES: Wearing the “A”: With captain Chris Bruton out for the second straight game, Johan Sundstrom served as an alternate captain Saturday night.
Point Streak: Crunch defenseman Matt Taormina came into the contest with points in all five games in 2013-14. His second-period goal made it six straight.
AHL Debut: Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis got the shutout in his first American Hockey League game.
Pink in the Rink: Saturday night’s game was the Crunch’s Pink in the Rink Night to benefit the Upstate Cancer Center and Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.
Relief Corps: Sound Tigers goaltender Kenny Reiter came on to replace Anders Nilsson for the second straight game.
Unhappy Records: The second period marked the sixth time in franchise history that the Sound Tigers allowed five goals in a period. It’s the most the Sound Tigers have allowed in one period during the regular season.
3RD STAR – J.P. Cote (SYR)
2ND STAR – Kristers Gudlevskis (SYR)
1ST STAR- Vlad Nemestnikov (SYR)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers lines
9 Anders Lee-18 Ryan Strome-28 Johan Sundstrom
26 Mike Halmo-19 Riley Wetmore-23 John Persson
39 Joey Diamond-14 Greg Miler-22 Alan Quine
44 Brett Gallant-72 Jason Clark-49 Justin Johnson
12 Calvin de Haan-15 Marc Cantin
3 Andrey Pedan-21 Dallas Jackson
27 Aaron Ness-10 Scott Mayfield
45 Anders Nilsson
35 Kenny Reiter
Syracuse Crunch Lines
42 Dana Tyrell-10 Mike Angelidis-67 Geoff Walker
11 Evan Rankin-17 Cedric Paquette-28 Brett Connolly
63 Philippe Paradis-71 Richard Tanner-29 Eric Neilson
23 J.T. Brown-90 Vlad Namestnikov-86 Nikita Kucherov
3 Joey Mormina-24 J.P. Cote
6 Matt Taormina-89 Nikita Nesterov
44 Dmitry Korobov-82 Luke Witkowski
35 Kristers Gudlevskis
30 Cedrick Desjardins