Casey Cizikas scored his first two goals of the season in the Sound Tigers’ high-scoring win over Connecticut. (Photo: TheAHL/flickr)
In what was a topsy-turvy evening to say the least, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers finally escaped with a 6-4 win over the Connecticut Whale in their season opener in Hartford.
The Whale jumped out to a 2-0 lead during the first period on goals by Kris Newbury and Kyle Jean (penalty shot), but in the second and third frame, the Tigers dominated with a six-goal rally spearheaded by Casey Cizikas (two goals) and Nino Niederreiter (one goal, two assists). Brock Nelson, John Persson and Brandon DeFazio also scored, and Kirill Kabanov earned his first two AHL points (both assists).
In the third period, after some incredible work to limit the Whale’s chances and keep them hemmed in their own zone, Bridgeport slipped up just a bit. Some undisciplined play led to power play chances for Connecticut, which allowed Mike Vernace to score on a 5-on-3 and Newbury to score his second PPG of the night. Bridgeport would rebound, however, keeping the Whale to the outside and being aggressive on the puck, and seal the win.
The Sound Tigers had lots of contribution in terms of scoring; six different players had multiple points tonight, among them the aforementioned Niederreiter but also defenseman Travis Hamonic (three assists). It was a shooting gallery for each of the goalies, but each held steady. Poulin finished with 27 saves on 31 shots, while Jason Missiaen was peppered but stopped 33 shots over two period. Scott Stajcer stopped six of seven in relief during the third period. (complete stats here)
You can read the Sound Tigers’ official recap here, and check out the current roster here. They play again tomorrow night against Providence in their home opener at 7 pm, and the Islanders’ website will be broadcasting the game (as it did tonight).
Let’s go, Bridgeport!