The Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Syracuse Crunch in a wild affair Sunday evening, holding on for a 6-5 victory. John Persson scored a hat trick, while Anders Lee, Scooter Vaughan and Andrew Clark picked up goals, as well. Persson’s hat trick goal proved to be the game-winner and broke a 5-5 tie with less than five minutes to play. Kenny Reiter saw 32 shots and earned his ninth win of the season.
After multiple scoring opportunities for both teams, the Sound Tigers jumped on the board first with a power-play goal at the 13:19 mark of the first. Ryan Strome found Lee just outside the crease where Lee moved quickly before Crunch goalie Kristers Gudlevskis could react. Less than three minutes after Bridgeport’s goal, Syracuse Captain Mike Angelidis found the back of the net to even the score at one.
Persson got his first of the night just 2:30 after the Crunch tied the score after Persson he caught an odd bounce in the chest close to the Crunch net. Persson wasted no time dropping the puck and slipping it past Gudlevskis to give the Sound Tigers a 2-1 lead, which they took into the second period.
The Sound Tigers extended their lead early in the third on Vaughan’s second goal in as many nights. Vaughn found himself in the perfect position to pounce on a rebound off a shot from Riley Wetmore. Vaughn flicked the puck over the left shoulder of Gudlevskis to extend the lead to 3-1.
The Crunch answered midway through the period. Reiter stopped a shot from Brett Connolly, but was unable to control the rebound. Vladislav Namestnikov picked up the rebound above the left faceoff circle and made it 3-2.
Less than a minute later, Joey Diamond raced towards the Crunch goal on a breakaway. He lost control of the puck close to the goal, but managed to get the puck to Clark with a backhand pass into the slot. Clark found the back of the net to put the Sound Tigers up 4-2.
With less than a minute to play in the second, Angelidis lit the lamp for his second goal of the game. Reiter stopped an initial shot from Dana Tyrell, but Angelidis found the rebound and got it past Reiter The period ended with the Sound Tigers out in front by a goal, 4-3.
The Crunch tied the score at four with eight minutes left to go in the third. With the Crunch on a 4-on-3 advantage, Matt Taormina fired a rocket right from center point to even the score at four. However, the Sound Tigers quickly recaptured the lead a minute and a half later with Persson’s second tally of the night. After gaining control of the puck, Persson ripped a shot just outside the left faceoff circle to make it 5-4.
With six minutes left in the game Nikita Nesterov let one fly from the point to tie the score at five. But the Sound Tigers regained the lead for good less than two minutes later. Following an outbreak of fights, the Sound Tigers found themselves with an extra man on the ice. John Persson hit the back of the net for the third time, completing his hat trick and giving the Sound Tigers the lead for good.
The Sound Tigers travel to Albany for a game against the Devils Friday night before returning home to face the Springfield Falcons Saturday.
3rd star: Andrew Clark (BST)
2nd star: Mike Angelidis (SYR)
1st star: John Persson (BST)
Hat Trick Hero: John Persson’s hat trick was the first the Sound Tigers have had this year. Persson now has nine goals on the season.
Winning Streak: The Sound Tigers four-game winning streak equals their longest of the year, when they had four straight victories to start the month of November.
Season Series: The Sound Tigers and Crunch met just twice this season. Each team won their home game, with Syracuse earning a win back on Oct. 26.
BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS LINES
9 Anders Lee-18 Ryan Strome-26 Mike Halmo
96 Pierre-Marc Bouchard-22 Alan Quine-23 John Persson
39 Joey Diamond-54 Chris Langkow-19 Riley Wetmore
7 Scooter Vaughan-11 Andrew Clark-49 Justin Johnson
27 Aaron Ness-15 Marc Cantin
5 Mike Keenan-10 Scott Mayfield
21 Dallas Jackson-4 Mike Cornell
35 Kenny Reiter
30 Parker Milner
SYRACUSE CRUNCH LINES
42 Dana Tyrell-10 Mike Angelidis-11 Evan Rankin
41 Jon DiSalvatore-90 Vladislav Namestnikov-28 Brett Connolly
20 Pierre-Cedric Labrie-17 Cedric Paquette-14 Richard Panik
63 Phillipe Paradis-71 Tanner Richard-8 Geoff Walker
6 Matt Taormina-82 Luke Witkowski
3 Joey Mormina-22 Jordan Henry
44 Dmitry Korobov-89 Nikita Nesterov
35 Kristers Gudlevskis
30 Cedrick Desjardins