Penguins forward Jason Williams scored the eventual game-winning goal 1:06 into the third period as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton survived a late push from the Sound Tigers and defeated Bridgeport 3-2 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday night. With the win, the Penguins improve to 44-24-2-5, while the Sound Tigers fell to 40-26-3-6.
Islanders free-agent aquisition Mike Halmo put the Sound Tigers on the board with his first professional goal just 22 seconds into the game. After Sean Backman
put a shot on net, Halmo dove to reach the rebound in the slot and sent it past Penguins goaltender Brad Thiessen to give the Sound Tigers the early 1-0 lead.
Kenny Reiter got the call between the pipes for the Sound Tigers, making his professional debut after signing an amateur tryout contract following the conclusion of his collegiate career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Steve MacIntyre beat Reiter to even the score at one at 2:53 of the period, hacking at the puck in the crease before putting it in for his first goal of the season. The Penguins had the only power play of the period and made the most of their advantage. Paul Thompson held the puck behind the Sound Tigers net and sent the puck into the slot where Colin McDonald one-timed it past Reiter, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton led 2-1 with 3:08 left in the opening frame.
Reiter was strong in the second period to keep the Sound Tigers deficit at one. The Penguins had their best opportunities to extend their lead late in the second period when Blair Riley and Steve Oleksy were called for penalties, resulting in a 5-on-3 advantage for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. However, Reiter came up with big saves during the penalty kill, and the Sound Tigers trailed by one goal despite being outshot 23-12 after 40 minutes.
The Penguins increased their lead to two 1:06 into the third period when Jason Williams fired from the left circle below Reiter’s blocker for his 13th goal of the season. However, the Sound Tigers came back within a goal at 6:03 of the period. Matt Donovan
carried the puck into the Penguins zone and passed to Tony Romano
by the left circle. Romano fired through the slot to Tyler McNeely
, who snapped a shot past Thiessen for his eighth goal of the season to make the score 3-2. However, Thiessen made big saves late in the game with the Sound Tigers on the power play, and the Penguins held on for the 3-2 win. Reiter made 26 saves in a losing effort in his professional debut.
The Sound Tigers close out their 2011-12 regular season schedule tomorrow afternoon when they host the Penguins to concluded their home-and-home series at 3:00 p.m.
Johnston – Romano – Riley
Persson – Nelson – DiBenedetto
Halmo – Mouillierat – Backman
Gallant – Marcinko – McNeely
Katic – Sinkewich
Donovan – Oleksy
de Haan – Cantin