Tim Wallace picked a good time to score his first hat-trick as a Bridgeport Sound Tiger, propelling the Sound Tigers over the Connecticut Whale 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday afternoon at Webster Bank Arena.
Wallace’s game winner at 3:22 of overtime capped a three goal performance and comeback for the Tigers who were trailing 3-1 near the midway mark of the third period.
“I’m happy that the guys didn’t quit,” Head Coach Brent Thompson said. “A lot of teams would have folded their tent down two goals and we dug down deeper and found a way to come back.”
|Tim Wallace #36 of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers watches what would be the game winning goal to defeat the Connecticut Whale 4-3 in overtime at The Arena at Harbor Yard on November 2, 2011 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. (Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images) |
Wallace would start the comeback converting a pass from a falling Casey Cizikas
at 9:24 of the third period while David Ullstrom
effectively sent the game to overtime with his fifth goal of the season at 13:17.
“[DiBenedetto] and Casey played a great game, a couple of those goals were pretty easy because of them,” said Wallace, who now has six points in his last two games.
The afternoon tilt was also the American League debut of New York Islanders prospect Nino Niederreiter
, who was assigned to Bridgeport on Nov. 1 on a conditioning assignment. Neiderreiter wouldn’t make his way onto the score-sheet, but found iron twice and was a physical presence on the ice.
“It’s a part of my game and I wanted to see how my groin felt after if I hit a lot," Niederreiter said. “It felt great, I don’t have any pain, so I’m sure I am on the right track.”
The Whale’s top line of John Mitchell, Mats Zuccarello and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault were highly effective, combining for seven points on the Whale’s three goals.
With the win, the Sound Tigers improve to 5-4-1-0 on the season while the Whale drop to 6-1-1-2. Kevin Poulin
turned aside 33 of 36 shots for his second win and DiBenedetto’s two assists extend his team lead to 11 points (8g/3a).
|Nino Niederreiter #25 of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers skates during the third period against the Connecticut Whale at The Arena at Harbor Yard on November 2, 2011 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. (Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images) |
The morning start was due in large part to Cool Fun 101, a semi-annual game designed to focus on the educational aspects of hockey for school children. Children of all ages attended the game while older high school students received lessons on sports business from college professors and Sound Tigers President Howard Saffan. The crowd of 7,696 was noticeably high-pitched and energetic.
The Sound Tigers next game is Saturday night as they host the Norfolk Admirals at 7:00 p.m.