NORFOLK, VA - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers fell to the Norfolk Admirals in a shootout Saturday night by a final score of 3-2. Mike Cornell scored his second goal of the season while Kirill Kabanov notched his third, but a late goal from Devante Smith-Pelly tied the score at two before Norfolk came away with the shootout victory. Anders Nilsson started in goal for the second straight night and made 25 saves.
Cornell’s goal came at the 12:42 mark of the first period and gave the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead. The defenseman had the puck along the half-boards and fired a shot towards the Admirals net. It redirected off an Admirals player before finding its way past Norfolk goaltender John Gibson for the first goal of the game. Andrew Clark, who assisted on both Sound Tigers goals, was credited with the primary helper while Justin Johnson picked up an assist, as well.
The Admirals tied the score less than 1:30 later as Emerson Etem scored his second goal in as many nights against the Sound Tigers. Rickard Rakell blasted a shot off Nilsson’s pads and Etem crashed the net to collect the rebound and score. That tied the score at one, and it stayed that way until late in the second period.
Kabanov’s goal came on a similar play to the one in which Etem scored. This time, it was Clark’s shot that was stopped by Gibson, but Kabanov went hard to the net and slammed home the rebound to give the Sound Tigers another one-goal lead.
The Sound Tigers held the 2-1 lead until there was less than a minute to play in the third. Norfolk pulled the goaltender in favor of the extra attacker and Smith-Pelly came onto the ice as the sixth man. He was parked at the top of the crease looking for a rebound, which was exactly what he got after a shot from the point by Alex Grant. There was a scramble in front, but Smith-Pelly found the back of the net to tie the score.
The game went to overtime, which saw the Sound Tigers outshoot the Admirals by a 5-0 margin, but Gibson stopped all five. In the shootout, Pierre-Marc Bouchard was the lone Sound Tiger to score while Jesse Blacker and Max Friberg beat Nilsson for the Admirals.
The Sound Tigers return to action next Friday in Manchester to face the Monarchs before returning home to face the Portland Pirates the following night. They’ll wrap up the weekend with another home game Sunday when they take on the Hartford Wolf Pack.