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Special teams propel Sound Tigers to 3-2 win over Sharks

by Jamie Palatini / New York Islanders
Forward Rhett Rakhshani recorded two of  the Sound Tigers three power play goals and the penalty kill went a perfect 6-for-6 as Bridgeport defeated the Worcester Sharks 3-2 at DCU Center on Tuesday night. With the win, the Sound Tigers move into sole possession of first place in the Northeast Division and improve to 32-19-3-3. Worcester falls to 25-21-4-7.

Rhett Rakhshani scored two power play goals on his birthday to power the the Sound Tigers over the Sharks. 
Special teams were the difference in the opening period as the Sound Tigers were able to cash in on their power play chance while Worcester was held at bay by the Sound Tigers penalty kill. After two Sharks penalties gave the Sound Tigers a two-man advantage, Rakhshani ripped a shot from the top of the left circle through traffic and past Worcester netminder Harri Sateri. It was Rakhshani’s 11th goal of the season, and the Sound Tigers led 1-0 at the 7:06 mark of the opening period. The Sharks had six minutes of power play time in the first period, but an aggressive penalty kill held Worcester to just eight shots on net in the first 20 minutes of play, preserving the Sound Tigers lead.

The Sharks drew even midway through the second period when Brandon Mashinter deflected a Matt Irwin shot past Sound Tigers goaltender Kevin Poulin at 9:28. The Sound Tigers responded late in the period, once again creating offense with their power play.

The Sound Tigers retook the lead with just 1:33 left in the second period. Aaron Ness kept a clearing attempt in the Worcester zone along the right side, then sent a pass quickly through the slot to Tomas Marcinko at the left post. Marcinko sent a pass through the top of the crease intended for Kael Mouillierat, but it caromed off Worcester defenseman Matt Pelech’s skate and past Sateri to give Marcinko his seventh goal of the season and the Sound Tigers a 2-1 lead after two periods.

Rakhshani extended the Sound Tigers lead to two goals with his second power play goal of the night and the team’s third with the man advantage. After Calvin de Haan’s point shot was initially stopped and Micheal Haley’s rebound attempt was denied, Rakhshani found the loose puck and put it past Sateri to give Bridgeport a 3-1 lead at 3:53 of the third. Mashinter netted his second goal of the night with a tip past Poulin at 5:48 to cut the lead to one, but Poulin was solid down the stretch and the Sound Tigers held on for the 3-2 win.

The Sound Tigers open a three-in-three weekend Friday night in Hartford against the Whale before returning home for games at Webster Bank Arena on Saturday night against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 7:00 p.m. and Norfolk on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon is Andrew MacDonald Bobblehead Day, and the first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive an Andrew MacDonald Bobblehead Doll.

McNeely – Colliton – Rakhshani
Haley – Mouillierat – Romano
DiBenedetto – Frischmon – Backman
Gillies – Marcinko – Riley

Donovan – Oleksy
de Haan – Sinkewich
Landry - Ness

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