After coming up short in their 2013-14 season openers, both of Connecticut's American Hockey League team posted wins in their second effort.
After a scoreless first period which saw both teams miss on breakaway chances, the scoreboard erupted in the second period with five tallies. Each team notched a short-handed tally, while of Norfolk's scores were short-handed affairs, while the Admirals added a power play goal, and Bridgeport put up one even-handed score and one with the man-advantage.
Norfolk came back to tie the score at 3-3 when Devante Smith-Pelly netted the Admirals' second short-handed goal of the contest.
Late in the game, it was Bridgeport netminder Anders Nilsson who came up huge, turning away several chances first, while killing off a 5-on-3, and then with Anders Lee in the box serving a four-minute double minor for high sticking.
“I have to give credit to Scott Mayfield and Joe Finley, who were both out there with [Johan Sundstrom] on the 5-on-3,” said Bridgeport head coach Scott Pellerin. “They played great there in a tough spot and kept the game tied.”
“Your goaltender has to be your best penalty killer,” added Finley, a 26-year-old blueliner from Edina, MN, “and Anders definitely was.”
After a scoreless overtime period, both teams scored on the first round of the shootout. Then it was time for the goalies to take over as Norfolk's John Gibson and Nilsson turned away shot after shot after shot. Then, in the sixth round, Bridgeport's John Persson finally put the game away, giving the Sound Tigers a 4-3 victory—and their first win of the young campaign.
“I thought we played well,” Sound Tigers head coach Scott Pellerin said. “Overall, there are some things we can work on, but at the end of the day it’s always good to get two points.”In Hartford, J.T. Miller scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Wolf Pack over the Albany Devils, 4-3, before 2,128 fans at the XL Center. Dylan McIlrath won the game in the third period with the first marker of his professional career.
Chris Kreider also scored for the Wolf Pack, and Danny Kristo chipped in with a pair of helpers. Scott Timmins, David Wohlberg and Joe Whitney scored for the Devils, with defenseman Jon Merrill assisting on all three tallies.
Both teams now are off until the weekend.
The Wolf Pack return to action Friday night when they host the Adirondack Phantoms at the XL Center. First puck drops at 7 p.m. Every Friday night game in Hartford featchers $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second perod.
The Sound Tigers return to action Saturday night when they entertain the Manchester Monarchs at the Webster Bank Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.