BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (April 21, 2013) – Brock Nelson scored his 25th goal of the season on the power play with 3:47 left in regulation to set a Sound Tigers single-season record for goals in a season by a rookie, and forward Riley Wetmore’s first pro goal ended up being the game-winner as Bridgeport defeated the Portland Pirates 4-1 at Webster Bank Arena on Fan Appreciation day on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Sound Tigers finish the 2012-13 season with an even .500 record of 32-32-7-5 overall. Portland concludes its 2012-13 regular season with a 41-30-3-2 record.
Portland took a 1-0 lead 3:50 into the game before the Sound Tigers
rattled off three straight tallies later in the opening frame.
Defenseman David Rundblad sent a shot from the right point on a delayed
penalty call that Darian Dziurzynski deflected past Anders Nilsson for
his ninth goal of the season to give the Pirates an early lead.
The Sound Tigers dictated play from that point forward with three straight goals to finish the period. Kirill Kabanov evened the score at one with a power play goal at 5:47, firing a wrist shot from the high slot off of the left post past goaltender Mike Lee for his second goal of the season.
Former UMass Lowell teammates Scott Campbell and Riley Wetmore worked together to give the Sound Tigers a lead as Wetmore netted his first pro goal late in the first period. Campbell collected a loose puck in the Portland zone and found Wetmore as he skated into the slot. The Swanton, VT native fired past Lee’s blocker, off of the left post and in for his first pro tally, and the Sound Tigers led 2-1 at 17:35 of the opening frame. Campbell was the recipient for the Sound Tigers third goal, finishing on a feed from Brandon DeFazio just 75 seconds after Wetmore’s tally to push the Bridgeport lead to two.
Physical play dictated the second period, as Andrey Pedan, Jason Clark and Blair Riley all engaged in fights with members of the Portland Pirates. However, neither team found the back of the net, and the Sound Tigers carried their two-goal lead into the third period.
Portland only mustered 11 shots on goal over the first two periods, but dictated play to start the final frame and pressured Nilsson and the Sound Tigers defense. However, Nilsson stood tall in his net to keep the Pirates off of the scoreboard, and Nelson added insurance late in the period. Mike Lee was pulled in favor of Chris Rawlings at the start of the second period, and Nelson fired over the rookie goaltender’s glove for his 25th goal of the season on the power play, breaking Rhett Rakhshani’s single-season record of goals in one season by a rookie set in 2010-11 and rounding out the scoring as Bridgeport skated away with the 4-1 victory.
Nilsson made back-to-back starts on Saturday and Sunday after not having appeared in a game since Jan. 26, and made 20 saves to finish the 2012-13 season with a 8-11-0 record. Matt Donovan assisted on two goals, tying Justin Schultz for the most points by an AHL defenseman this season. Bridgeport finishes the 2012-13 season with a 19-11-4-4 record at Webster Bank Arena, and ends up 11th in the Eastern Conference.
NOTES: Kabanov’s goal marked his first career goal at Webster Bank Arena … Wetmore netted his first pro goal in his third pro game, and has signed an AHL contract with the Sound Tigers for the 2013-14 season … Mike Keenan, Jason Clark and Andrey Pedan … Backman wore an “A” and appeared in his 200th career AHL game, the most of anyone in Sunday’s lineup for the Sound Tigers … The AHL announced that Jon Landry was suspended two games for a charging incident in Portland on Friday; he sat out Sunday’s season finale, and will miss his first game of the 2013-14 season.
1. BRI: Scott Campbell
2. BRI: Anders Nilsson
3. BRI: Riley Wetmore
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
22 Nino Niederreiter – 29 Brock Nelson – 18 Ryan Strome
23 John Persson – 28 Johan Sundstrom – 21 Riley Wetmore
42 Brandon DeFazio – 4 Scott Campbell – 20 Blair Riley (A)
16 Sean Backman (A) – 72 Jason Clark – 77 Kirill Kabanov
46 Matt Donovan (A) – 5 Mike Keenan
27 Aaron Ness – 10 Scott Mayfield
19 Andrey Pedan – 15 Marc Cantin
45 Anders Nilsson (starter)
30 Kenny Reiter