The Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Springfield Falcons Saturday night by a final score of 5-2. Matt Donovan had a pair of goals, while Johan Sundstrom, Jake Newton and Ryan Strome chipped in with markers of their own. Anders Nilsson started in net and faced little action, making 15 saves on just 17 shots.
The Falcons scored early in the game on the power play and jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead. Tim Erixon quarterbacked the power play from center point and took a pass from the faceoff circle. With traffic in front, Erixon blasted a slap shot past Nilsson for the opening goal of the game.
Springfield’s Trent Vogelhuber was given an interference penalty right off the following faceoff, and the Sound Tigers converted on their first man-advantage opportunity of the game, as well. Donovan had the puck in the high slot and, with Mike Halmo set up in front on a screen, got it past Jeremy Smith to tie the score at one.
Donovan struck again less than five minutes later, and once again it came on the power play. Strome gave Donovan a cross-ice feed from the left wing to the right circle, where the defenseman was waiting to hammer a one-timer past Smith and give the Sound Tigers a 2-1 lead.
Later in the first, the Falcons turned the puck over, and Sundstrom raced back into the Springfield zone. He took a slap shot from the right circle, Smith got a piece but not enough to keep the puck from trickling over the goal line. That made it a 3-1 Sound Tigers lead, and brought Mike McKenna into the game to replace Smith.
The Sound Tigers held their 3-1 lead into the second period, but the Falcons cut the lead to one early in the middle frame. With the teams 4-on-4, Cody Golubef took a shot from the blue line. Andrew Joudrey had position in front, and got the deflection to cut the Sound Tigers lead to one.
Three minutes later, Newton’s first goal as a Sound Tiger made it a two-goal Sound Tigers lead once again. After receiving a pass from Dallas Jackson, Newton blasted a slap shot from the right point that McKenna was unable to corral. Newton’s marker came at the 7:05 mark and made it 4-2 Sound Tigers.
With the Sound Tigers still leading 4-2 in the third period, Strome raced into the Falcons zone on a breakaway and was tied up from behind, which drew a penalty shot. Strome angled into the right circle and went five-hole on McKenna to make it a 5-2 Sound Tigers lead.
The Sound Tigers host the Albany Devils Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., looking to make it wins eight of their last 10 games.
3rd star: Johan Sundstrom (BST)
2nd star: Ryan Strome (BST)
1st star: Matt Donovan (BST)
Moving Up the Leaderboard: Matt Donovan’s two goals now put him just one point behind Ben Walter for ninth all-time in Sound Tigers history.
Penalty Shot Goal: Ryan Strome’s penalty shot goal was the first for the Sound Tigers since Nino Niederreiter scored against Hershey on 11/13/11.
Sundstrom Scores: Johan Sundstrom’s goal was his first since he scored against St. John’s on 11/24. He missed nearly two months with an illness.
BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS LINES
9 Anders Lee-18 Ryan Strome-26 Mike Halmo
39 Joey Diamond-28 Johan Sundstrom-36 Matthew Pistillo
11 Andrw Clark-22 Alan Quine-23 John Persson
44 Brett Gallant-54 Chris Langkow-7 Scooter Vaughan
27 Aaron Ness-10 Scott Mayfield
46 Matt Donovan-4 Mike Cornell
21 Dallas Jackson-17 Jake Newton
45 Anders Nilsson
35 Kenny Reiter