MANCHESTER, N.H. (Nov. 9, 2012) – Five different Sound Tigers found the back of the net and Anders Nilsson made 32 saves in his first start of the 2012-13 campaign as Bridgeport defeated the Manchester Monarchs 5-2 at Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night. With the win, the Sound Tigers improve to 7-3-0-0. The Monarchs fall to 6-3-0-1.
The Sound Tigers dictated most of the play in the first period and netted the only goal of the opening 20 minutes. Travis Hamonic collected the puck by the Monarchs blue line after Sean Backman had been stopped by Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones. Hamonic snapped a shot that deflected off of a Manchester defenseman to Casey Cizikas, who flipped the puck into the open net for his fourth goal of the season 16:44 into the first period. Anders Nilsson was rarely challenged as the Sound Tigers outshot Manchester 21-7 and led 1-0 after 20 minutes.
The Monarchs increased their pressure in the middle frame, tightening the shot differential and eventually tying the game late in the period. Nilsson made big saves for most of the period, but Manchester’s Andrew Bodnarchuk snapped a shot from the right circle through a screen past Nilsson to even the game at 1-1 with 1:41 remaining in the period.
However, the Sound Tigers responded just 23 seconds later to retake the lead. Cizikas made a big hit behind the Manchester net, gained control of the puck and found Brandon DeFazio all alone in the slot. The first-year Sound Tiger beat Jones for his fifth goal of the season, and the Sound Tigers led 2-1 after two periods of play.
Manchester evened the score once more 39 seconds into the third period. Linden Vey one-timed a Tyler Toffoli pass from the slot past Nilsson, and the game was tied at 2-2 early in the final frame. The Sound Tigers would pull away with three consecutive goals to close out the game, as Hamonic put the visitors ahead for good at the 4:00 mark of the third period. The Sound Tigers defenseman fired a blast from the right circle that was partially blocked by Jones, but trickled across the goal line to give the Sound Tigers the lead.
Brock Nelson provided insurance with a shorthanded goal at 12:58, as he intercepted a pass at the Manchester blue line and backhanded the puck through Jones’ legs for his sixth goal of the season. Nino Niederreiter closed out the scoring with three minutes left in regulation, putting a rebound past Jones for a power play goal and giving the Sound Tigers a 5-2 win.
Nelson’s shorthanded tally extended his goal scoring streak to four consecutive games. Four different Sound Tigers (Hamonic, Cizikas, Niederreiter and Nelson) recorded multi-point games, and nine players recorded a point in the win.
The Sound Tigers return to action on Sunday when they play host to the Connecticut Whale at 3:00 p.m. Sunday’s game is the first of four Goals For Groceries games, sponsored by Citizens Bank, where fans who donate 10 or more non-perishable goods will receive a free ticket to an upcoming Sound Tigers game.
1. BRI: Travis Hamonic
2. BRI: Casey Cizikas
3. BRI: Nino Niederreiter
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
22 Nino Niederreiter – 29 Brock Nelson – 13 Colin McDonald
23 John Persson – 11 Casey Cizikas – 42 Brandon DeFazio
40 Mike Halmo – 28 Johan Sundstrom – 16 Sean Backman
44 Brett Gallant – 14 Matt Watkins – 20 Blair Riley
27 Aaron Ness – 7 Jon Landry
46 Matt Donovan – 25 Jordan Hill
8 Nathan McIver – 3 Travis Hamonic
45 Anders Nilsson (starter)
38 Kevin Poulin