DONOVAN SCORES LATE, SOUND TIGERS WIN 5-4
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (Jan. 13, 2013) – Sound Tigers defenseman Matt Donovan scored on the power play with 1:16 left in regulation to break a 4-4 tie and Nino Niederreiter had two goals as Bridgeport defeated the Albany Devils 5-4 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Sunday evening. With the win, the Sound Tigers snap a five-game winless skid and improve to 18-16-2-2 on the season. Albany falls to 14-13-1-6.
The Sound Tigers went 3-for-5 on the power play in the game, and scored their first goal on the man-advantage 11:39 into the opening frame. Aaron Ness and Jack Combs played give-and-go as Ness cut towards the net, and Ness backhanded a rebound past Albany goaltender Keith Kinkaid to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Albany responded with just 16.7 seconds remaining in the opening period to even the score. Brandon Burlon found Phil DeSimone unmarked in the slot, and the Devils forward fired over Kevin Poulin’s glove for his second goal of the season to tie game 1-1 heading to the second period.
Nino Niederreiter scored his first of two goals in the game 3:38 into the second period to put Bridgeport back in front. Mike Halmo and Brock Nelson carried the puck in traffic through the slot in the Albany zone, and Niederreiter pounced on the loose puck and finished for his 18th goal of the season. Albany would respond once again at 9:53 of the second stanza, when Kelly Zajac deflected Bryan Haczyk’s centering feed past Poulin to even the score at two.
The game remained tied heading to the third period before the Sound Tigers would build a two-goal advantage. Blair Riley scored his third goal of the season 2:17 into the final frame to retake the lead for Bridgeport, and Niederreiter fired a rebound on the power play past Kinkaid at 9:38 to give the Sound Tigers a 4-2 lead.
However, the Devils continued to battle and tied the score again with two goals in 92 seconds. Donovan and Ness were sent off for penalties to give Albany a 5-on-3 power play, and Joe Whitney scored from the slot to bring the Devils within a goal at 15:16. Albany tied the score at 16:48, when a turnover in the Bridgeport zone led to Chris McKelvie’s first goal of the season.
But Albany’s Matt Anderson was called for goaltender interference with 2:43 left in regulation, putting the Sound Tigers back on the power play. Donovan took a pass from Chad Costello, held the puck in the high slot and sent a snap shot past Kinkaid with 1:16 left in regulation. Albany pulled Kinkaid in favor of the extra attacker, but Poulin and the Sound Tigers held on for the 5-4 win.
Poulin stopped 32 shots to earn his 11th victory of the season. Kinkaid stopped 24 shots in the loss.
The Sound Tigers return to action Saturday night when they host the Binghamton Senators at Webster Bank Arena. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m.
NOTES: Aaron Ness (1g/2a) and Chad Costello (0g/3a) each posted three points in the win … The Sound Tigers power play had been 1-for-13 over the past four games … Blair Riley has a goal in three of his last four games after going scoreless in his first 33 games … Tonight’s game was played at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. one of four games Albany is playing in at Boardwalk Hall, in their parent club New Jersey Devils’ home state.
1. BRI: Nino Niederreiter
2. BRI: Matt Donovan
3. ALB: Kelly Zajac
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
40 Mike Halmo – 29 Brock Nelson – 22 Nino Niederreiter
23 John Persson – 28 Johan Sundstrom – 16 Sean Backman
42 Brandon DeFazio (A) – 4 Scott Campbell – 20 Blair Riley (A)
5 Jack Combs – 18 Chad Costello – 44 Brett Gallant
46 Matt Donovan – 2 Dallas Jackson
27 Aaron Ness – 8 Nathan McIver (A)
25 Jordan Hill – 10 Dan Maggio
38 Kevin Poulin (starter)
45 Anders Nilsson