Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (Oct. 20, 2012) – Sound Tigers goaltender Kevin Poulin made 34 saves for his third straight win to open the 2012-13 campaign as Bridgeport defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3-2 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday night. With the win, the Sound Tigers remain undefeated to begin the 2012-13 season and improve to 3-0-0-0. The Penguins remain winless at 0-3-0-0.
The Sound Tigers were unable to take advantage of two power plays early in the game, but broke through against the Penguins for their first goal midway through the opening frame. Defenseman Ty Wishart missed wide on a one-time blast from the top of the right faceoff circle, but the puck caromed off the endboards to Johan Sundstrom at the left circle. Sundstrom fired the puck past Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goalie Brad Thiessen for his first pro goal, and the Sound Tigers led 1-0 with eight minutes left in the first period.
A fortunate bounce led to the Sound Tigers second goal with 1:46 left in the opening 20 minutes. Casey Cizikas sent the puck into the Penguins zone along the left boards and Thiessen came out of his net to play the puck behind the net. As the puck hugged the boards by the left corner, it caromed straight out into the slot while Thiessen was still behind his net. Nino Niederreiter dove towards the slot and pushed the puck in for his third goal in as many games to begin the 2012-13 campaign, and the Sound Tigers led 2-0 after the first 20 minutes of play.
The Penguins dictated much of the action in the second frame and cut their deficit in half at 7:48 of the period. Poulin made a pair of sprawling saves, but could not stop the third Penguins rebound attempt as Riley Holzapfel scored to trim the Sound Tigers lead to 2-1. However, the Sound Tigers would retake their two-goal advantage courtesy of John Persson. The line of Persson, Sundstrom and David Ullstrom forced a turnover in the Penguins zone and attacked the net with just one Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman in front of them. After some tic-tac-toe passing, Persson sent the puck in by the right post for his second tally of season to give the Sound Tigers a 3-1 lead with 3:28 remaining in the second stanza.
The Sound Tigers carried that two-goal lead into the third period, but Penguins forward Eric Tangradi brought the home team within a goal with four minutes left in regulation. Poulin made the initial save on a Simon Despres’ point shot, but Tangradi sent the rebound over Poulin to make the score 3-2. The Sound Tigers had a chance to regain their two-goal lead when former Sound Tiger Dylan Reese covered the puck with his hand in the Penguins crease, giving the Sound Tigers a penalty shot. Niederreiter was unable to convert, as Thiessen held his position and made a right pad save on Niederreiter’s penalty shot attempt at 16:25. The Sound Tigers held off one last charge from the Penguins who had a power play chance at 16:56 when Colin McDonald was called for tripping. Poulin made several big saves during the penalty kill, and the Sound Tigers held on for the 3-2 win.
The Sound Tigers return to action next weekend when they continue their four-game road swing at DCU Center against the Worcester Sharks at 7:30 p.m.
1. BRI: Johan Sundstrom
2. BRI: Nino Niederreiter
3. WBS: Eric Tangradi
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
22 Nino Niederreiter - 11 Casey Cizikas - 13 Colin McDonald
24 David Ullstrom - 28 Johan Sundstrom - 23 John Persson
42 Brandon DeFazio - 29 Brock Nelson - 77 Kirill Kabanov
40 Mike Halmo - 14 - Matt Watkins - 20 Blair Riley
12 Calvin de Haan - 6 Ty Wishart
27 Aaron Ness - 7 Jon Landry
46 Matt Donovan - 3 Travis Hamonic
38 Kevin Poulin (starter)
45 Anders Nilsson
21 Benn Ferriero - 19 Philippe Dupuis - 17 Paul Thompson
25 Eric Tangradi - 23 Smith - 26 Riley Holzapfel
9 Brian Gibbons - 43 Warren Peters - 13 Beau Bennett
14 Tom Kuhnhackl - 18 Dominik Uher
5 Philip Samuelsson - 7 Brian Strait
47 Simon Despres - 2 Dylan Reese
8 Brian Dumoulin - 6 Joe Morrow
3 Joey Mormina
39 Brad Thiessen (starter)
37 Jeff Zatkoff