HARTFORD, Conn. (Oct. 12, 2012) – The Sound Tigers scored six straight goals including a five-goal outburst in the second period, as Bridgeport traveled to XL Center and defeated the in-state rival Connecticut Whale 6-4 to open the 2012-13 season on Friday night. With the win, the Sound Tigers improve to 1-0-0-0. The Whale falls to 0-1-0-0.
The Sound Tigers peppered Whale netminder Jason Missiaen with 19 shots in the opening frame, but the Whale would be the only team to score in the first 20 minutes of action in the 2012-13 season. Sound Tigers forward Johan Sundstrom was called for holding just 45 seconds into the game, and Whale forward Kris Newbury made the Sound Tigers pay as he scored at 2:31 to give the Whale an early lead.
The Sound Tigers looked to even the score while on the power play later in the period, but Whale forward Kyle Jean was taken down on a shorthanded breakaway and earned a penalty shot. Jean skated in on Sound Tigers goalie Kevin Poulin, deked to his backhand and sent a forehand shot past Poulin to give the Whale a 2-0 lead at 14:52 of the first period.
Head coach Scott Pellerin’s crew came alive in the second period with five unanswered goals, including four tallies in a span of 5:06. Cizikas kicked off the scoring on the power play, deflecting a Travis Hamonic shot past Missiaen at 3:03 to get the Sound Tigers on the board. Just 1:50 later, Kirill Kabanov found Nino Niederreiter on a 2-on-1 and Niederreiter fired into an open net to even the score at two. 73 seconds later, Colin McDonald fed Cizikas in the slot for a snap shot past Missiaen to put the Sound Tigers ahead 3-2.
Brock Nelson continued the Sound Tigers onslaught with his first pro goal at 8:39 of the middle frame. Kabanov was stopped from point blank range, but Nelson found the rebound and beat Missiaen for his first AHL goal to put the Sound Tigers ahead by two. John Persson rounded out the scoring in the second period as the Sound Tigers netted five goals in the middle frame. Persson came streaking into the Whale zone, took a feed from Travis Hamonic and scored to give the Sound Tigers a 5-2 lead after two periods.
A minute into the third period, Brandon DeFazio increased the Sound Tigers lead to four goals, putting a rebound past Whale goaltender Scott Stajcer, who replaced Missiaen in net after he allowed the first five goals on 38 shots in two periods of work. The Sound Tigers’ 6-2 lead was threatened by the Whale as they scored twice on the power play early in the third period. Defenseman Mike Vernace snuck a shot under the crossbar past Poulin on a two-man advantage at 4:27, and Newbury scored his second power play goal of the night when he sent a sharp angle shot off Donovan past Poulin at 6:16. However, that was as close as the Whale would come, as Poulin and the Sound Tigers held the Whale back in the final moments and came away with a 6-4 victory.
Six different Sound Tigers registered multi-point nights, including Travis Hamonic, who recorded three assists and Nino Niederreiter who recorded a goal and two assists. Poulin made 27 saves to earn the win.
The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena tomorrow night to open their 2012-13 home schedule when they face the Providence Bruins at 7:00 p.m.
Niederreiter – Cizikas – McDonald
Ullstrom – Sundstrom – Persson
DeFazio – Nelson – Kabanov
Gallant – Watkins – Riley
Donovan – Hamonic
de Haan – Wishart
Ness – Landry