Hope all of my American readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday and didn’t get into any fist fights today while shopping. Placing blame on your fellow shoppers for not getting what you wanted is okay as shown by the NHL and NHLPA earlier today.
Speaking of the NHL, this recap was supposed to be about the Rangers beating the Bruins on the first nationally televised game of the season as part of the Thanksgiving Showdown. Instead, you get to read about the Whale beating the Sound Tigers. Not that that’s a bad thing but I’m sure everyone would’ve preferred the first option. Blame the NHL and NHLPA.
As for the Whale lineup, Andrew Yogan is still hurt and didn’t travel with the team to Bridgeport. No word on his injury or how long he will be out. Kris Newbury was back after missing one game, taking Shayne Wiebe back out of the lineup. On defense, lineup remained the same as last weekend with Jyri Niemi still hurt from the last time these two teams met. However, he was seen in pictures posted by the boys on Thanksgiving so that has to be a good sign.
The game started well as Chris Kreider scored on the games’ first shot 1:39 into the first period. Assist went to Brandon Segal. Eleven minutes later, Tommy Grant doubled the lead on the Whale’s fifth shot of the evening from Kelsey Tessier and Chad Kolarik to give the Whale a 2-0 lead.
Two minutes later, the Whale took their second penalty of the game as Blake Parlett went off for boarding. It took the Sound Tigers eight seconds to cut Connecticut’s lead in half. Fortunately no other damage was done before the end of the period.
The boys weren’t as lucky in the second period as Bridgeport tied the game 1:36 into the period and took the lead less than three minutes later.
As in the first period, two minutes after Bridgeport scored they took a penalty to give the Whale a chance to tie it. While the Whale weren’t able to capitalize as quickly as the Sound Tigers did, they did tie the game two seconds after the power play ended as Newbury got his sixth from Kolarik and Logan Pyett.
The remainder of the period was the battle of the goaltenders as both Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson did everything they could to keep the game tied. With about two and half minutes remaining, the Sound Tigers thought they had taken the lead but a goal review confirmed that the puck never crossed the goal line and the score remained tied going into the third.
Third period started with the two teams managing to get out of the first two minutes of a period without allowing a goal. Unfortunately the Whale couldn’t get to the five minute mark without allowing one as Bridgeport took the lead 4:02 into the period. Three and a half minutes later, Bridgeport took a two goal lead as the Swedish line of Sundstrom-Persson-Ullstrom got their fourth goal of the game. (That line scored all of Bridgeports’ goals except their third one.)
The Whale did get one back less than a minute later as Matt Gilroy riffled one past Nilsson to get the boys back within one. Assists went to Ryan Bourque and J.T. Miller.
Five minutes later, the puck took a funny bounce as Parlett tried to pass it out from behind the net and landed right in the crease where Kolarik was able to bury it to tie the game. Newbury got the other assist.
Thirty seconds later, Kolarik and Nino Niederreiter went off coincidental roughing majors to put the teams at 4-on-4. The Whale took control and finally took the lead a minute and a half later as Kreider found the back of the net for his second of the game from Pyett and Sean Collins to bring about a Let’s Go Whale chant in Bridgeport.
Things would get better as a little over a minute later, the Sound Tigers would take a penalty and Gilroy would get his second of the game a minute into the power play to give the Whale a 7-5 lead. Marek Hrivik and Kyle Jean got the assists on what would be the last goal of the game after a wild third period to give the Whale their first win in three tries over Bridgeport this season.
I’m sure Gernander won’t like the fact they gave up a two goal lead to start the game or how sloppy they played at other points, but the boys battled back and definitely earned this victory.
Next up, it’s the Norfolk Admirals at home tomorrow night and then in Springfield for a game against the Falcons Sunday afternoon. The Whale haven’t beaten either of those teams in two tries this year so hopefully tonights’ comeback continues the trend of the third time being the charm. Recaps of both of those games may be delayed as I will be in Atlantic City for Operation Hat Trick this weekend (which of course will be recapped on the site as well) but I promise they will be posted. Let’s get two more big wins to make this a great weekend boys!