WHALE DEFEATS SOUND TIGERS 7-3
HARTFORD, Conn. (Mar. 1, 2013) – The Connecticut Whale scored two power play goals in the game’s first four minutes and never looked back as they skated away with a 7-3 victory at the XL Center in Hartford on Friday night. With the win, the Whale improves to 26-23-5-2 overall. The Sound Tigers’ winless streak extends to seven games as they fall to 22-24-3-4.
The Sound Tigers took two bad penalties to put themselves down two goals early on in the first period. Matt Watkins’ holding penalty in the offensive zone led to the Whale’s first goal, as Chris Kreider was unmarked in front of the Sound Tigers net and deflected Logan Pyett’s pass over Rick DiPietro’s left shoulder to give the Whale a 1-0 lead 2:59 into the game.
Matt Donovan’s cross-checking penalty led to the Whale’s second goal, when Kris Newbury skated into the zone on a 2-on-1 and fed Brandon Segal through the slot for a one-time blast 56 seconds later to give the Whale a 2-0 lead.
Mike Vernace’s wrist shot from the left point made its way through a screen beneath DiPietro’s blocker to give the Whale a 3-0 lead midway through the period. Christian Thomas pushed the Whale lead to four at 16:29 of the opening frame, converting on an odd-man rush as he fired Brandon Mashinter’s pass through the slot into an open net.
An unlucky bounce led to the Whale’s fifth goal, when the puck pinballed in the slot off of Kris Newbury’s stick, then changed direction off of Kirill Kabanov’s skate past DiPietro at 17:49 of the first period.
Kenny Reiter relieved DiPietro to start the second period, and stopped all 10 shots he faced in the middle frame while the Sound Tigers got on the board late in the period. Nathan McIver took a pass from Jack Combs and sent a shot off of a Whale defenseman past goaltender Cam Talbot for his first goal as a Sound Tiger with 2:11 left in the second period.
The Sound Tigers scored 1:56 into the second to draw within three goals when Blair Riley sent a loose puck from the slot over Talbot’s right shoulder for his sixth goal of the season, and Chad Costello buried a feed from Aaron Ness beneath the left circle for his third tally of the year at 7:54 to make the score 5-3.
However, the Whale ended the Sound Tigers comeback attempt with two goals late in the game. Kenny Reiter made an initial stop on Christian Thomas’ attempt from the right post, but the Sound Tigers were unable to find the puck in traffic in front of Reiter and Brandon Mashinter jammed the loose puck in at 12:25 to give the Whale a 6-3 lead. Thomas netted his second goal of the game to round out the scoring on the power play with 55 seconds left, sending a shot off of Ty Wishart’s leg that changed direction and evaded Reiter.
Reiter stopped 16 of 18 shots in relief of DiPietro, while Talbot stopped 35 shots to earn his 20th win of the season.
The Sound Tigers return to action tomorrow night when they host the Adirondack Phantoms at Webster Bank Arena at 7:00 p.m.
NOTES: Tonight marked DiPietro’s 100th game as a Sound Tiger (2001-04, 09-10), his record now stands at 47-37-15 … It was his first appearance as a Sound Tiger since a four-game conditioning stint during the 2009-10 season … The Sound Tigers allowed three power play goals in a game for the fifth time this season … The Sound Tigers are 0-for-29 on the power play in their past seven games … Nathan McIver recorded his second career multi-point game with a goal and an assist, and it was his first goal as a Sound Tiger in 42 games … The five goals allowed in the first period are the most the Sound Tigers have allowed in one period this season … The Sound Tigers outshot the Whale 38-30.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
23 John Persson – 29 Brock Nelson – 77 Kirill Kabanov
22 Nino Niederreiter – 14 Matt Watkins (C) – 16 Sean Backman
42 Brandon DeFazio – 4 Scott Campbell – 20 Blair Riley (A)
40 Mike Halmo – 5 Jack Combs – 18 Chad Costello
46 Matt Donovan – 6 Ty Wishart (A)
27 Aaron Ness – 7 Jon Landry
2 Dallas Jackson – 8 Nathan McIver
39 Rick DiPietro (starter)
30 Kenny Reiter