BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (April 1, 2012) – Sound Tigers forward Rhett Rakhshani sent a one-time blast from the left circle past Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff 1:45 into overtime as Bridgeport defeated Manchester 3-2 at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon. The Sound Tigers have won five straight games, including three overtime victories, and improve to 37-24-3-6 overall. The Monarchs fall to 36-31-1-3.
The Sound Tigers jumped on the scoreboard with 1:30 left in the opening period in what was a evenly played first period. Trevor Frischmon brought the puck out of the zone just as Matt Donovan’s interference penalty expired, creating a 2-on-1 odd-man rush. Frischmon fed the puck to Donovan, who skated in on Zatkoff and sent a backhand over his glove for his 10th goal of the season.
Former Sound Tiger and current Monarch Trent Hunter returned to Bridgeport for the first time since the conclusion of the 2002-03 season and scored early in the second period on the power play to tie the game. Stefan Legein’s initial point shot went wide of the left post, but Hunter grabbed the hard bounce off the end boards and beat Poulin for his fourth goal of the season 56 seconds into the period. John Persson put the Sound Tigers ahead with 4:39 left in the second period. Rakhshani won a faceoff in the left circle of the Manchester zone and Persson collected the puck by the left post. After faking a shot, Persson wrapped around the net and fired the puck in at the right post before Zatkoff could recover for his second professional goal.
The Monarchs would answer 2:12 into the final period to tie the score again. Jake Muzzin sent a shot from the point that deflected in past Poulin for his sixth goal of the season to even the score at two. Manchester peppered Poulin with 17 shots in the final frame, but the second-year goalie held strong down the stretch and the two sides went to overtime.
Overtime began 3-on-3 after Tyler McNeely and Legein were handed matching roughing penalties late in the third period, but neither side could convert early in the extra session with the open ice. Just 20 seconds after the sides returned to 4-on-4, Manchester’s Thomas Hickey was called for cross-checking to give the Sound Tigers their sixth power play opportunity of the game. The Sound Tigers cashed in when Rakhshani one-timed Katic’s pass at the top of the left circle, giving the Sound Tigers their second overtime win in less than 24 hours.
Poulin made 33 saves to earn his fifth straight win in eight days. Zatkoff made 35 saves in the overtime defeat.
The Sound Tigers look to earn their sixth straight win on their eight-game homestand on Wednesday morning when they host the Springfield Falcons for Spring Fun 102 at 11:00 a.m.
Persson – Romano – Rakhshani
DiBenedetto – Mouillierat – Ullstrom
McNeely – Frischmon – Backman
Riley – Marcinko – Oleksy
Donovan – Katic
Landry – Ness
de Haan – Wishart