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In the teams’ first meeting in nearly two years, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers were downed by the St. John’s IceCaps by a score of 4-3 Sunday afternoon. Johan Sundstrom, Anders Lee, and Calvin de Haan all had goals for the Sound Tigers, who fall to 4-9-1-3 on the season. Parker Milner made his AHL debut and made 25 saves on 29 shots. The Sound Tigers led 2-0 in the second period but were unable to hold on for the victory.
The Sound Tigers opened the scoring at 7:01 of the first period on Sundstrom’s fourth goal of the season. With the Sound Tigers shorthanded, Riley Wetmore won a faceoff in the right circle directly to Sundstrom in the slot. The Swedish center was stopped on the first shot, but powered home the rebound to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead.
St. John’s had their best opportunity of the first period a few minutes later just as a penalty to Kris Fredheim expired. Fredheim came out of the box well clear of the Sound Tigers defense and walked in on a breakaway, but was denied by Milner, who stopped all eight shots he faced in the first period.
The Sound Tigers opened up the second period strong and picked up another goal at the 2:24 mark. Ryan Strome skated into the offensive zone before finding Lee at the top of the left circle. Lee stickhandled, corralled the puck to his forehand and sent a snapshot past IceCaps goaltender Jussi Olkinuora to double the Sound Tigers lead.
The IceCaps scored twice before the second period was over, however, and tied the score at two. First, Andrew Gordon sent a bouncing puck towards Milner. After deflecting off at least two Sound Tigers defensemen, the puck trickled through the pads of the former Boston College goaltender to make it a one-goal game. Seven minutes later, Carl Klingberg’s shot was tipped in the slot by Jordan Samson and went past Milner to tie the score.
The IceCaps picked up another goal less than seven minutes into the third, as Kael Mouillerat found a loose puck at the top of the crease to give St John’s the lead. The Sound Tigers answered with a goal less than five minutes later as Calvin de Haan got his first of the season. With the puck at the right point, de Haan wound up and fired a slap shot through traffic and got it past Olkinuora. That goal tied the score, but just over three minutes later, the IceCaps regained the lead for good.
Ryan Strome was whistled for tripping at the 12:49 mark and was then handed another two-minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct. On the second leg of the penalty kill, Eric O’Dell took a feed from Samson and found the back of the net for the game-winner.
The Sound Tigers return to the ice Friday, Nov. 29 when they host the Hartford Wolf Pack at Webster Bank Arena at 7 p.m.
3rd star: Anders Lee (BST)
2nd star: Kael Mouillerat (STJ)
1st star: Jerome Samson (STJ)
On the board: Calvin de Haan’s goal was his first in almost exactly two years. After missing all but three games last season with an injury, he had last scored on 11/25/11 against Springfield.
First win: No matter which starting goaltender earned the win Sunday, it would have been his first AHL win. As it were, Jussi Olkinuora got the first of his career.
College teammates: Olkinuora and Sound Tigers defenseman Scott Mayfield played two seasons together at the University of Denver.
BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS LINES
9 Anders Lee-18 Ryan Strome-26 Mike Halmo
39 Joey Diamond-28 Johan Sundstrom-77 Kirill Kabanov
17 Nick Larson-22 Alan Quine-19 Riley Wetmore
44 Brett Gallant-54 Chris Langkow-16 Chris Bruton
12 Calvin de Haan-15 Marc Cantin
21 Dallas Jackson-4 Mike Cornell
10 Scott Mayfield-5 Mike Keenan
30 Parker Milner
35 Kenny Reiter
ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS LINES
21 Kael Mouillierat-17 Eric O’Dell-28 Patrice Cormier
15 Jason Jaffray-16 John Albert-10 Andrew Gordon
48 Carl Klingberg-47 Adam Lowry-17 Jerome Samson
38 Ryan Schnell-19 Kyle MacKinnon-25 Blair Riley
18 Ben Chiarot-8 Brendan Kichton
49 Travis Erhardt-7 Kris Fredheim
29 Jordan Hill-32 Cody Lampl
31 Jussi Olkinuora
40 Edward Pasquale