BRIDGEPORT, CT - Casey Cizikas scored the first two professional goals of his career, including the game-winner with 18.7 seconds left in regulation as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Providence Bruins 3-2 at Webster Bank Arena on Saturday night. With the win, the Sound Tigers even their record at 4-4-1-0. The loss drops Providence to 4-5-1-0.
The P-Bruins took a first period lead courtesy of a redirection from Stefan Chaput at 17:21. The Providence forward skated into the slot and deftly deflected Zach Hamill’s shot past Sound Tigers netminder Anders Nilsson, and the Bruins had a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Providence held that lead until the midway mark of the game when Justin DiBenedetto continued his impressive start to the 2011-12 campaign. The Maple, ON native took a feed from Tim Wallace, skated in along the left side and beat Michael Hutchinson high on the short side for his eighth goal of the season to even the score at one.
Cizikas’ first professional goal came just over eight minutes into the third period. Wallace slid the puck over to Cizikas who came streaking into the slot, and the Toronto native backhanded a shot beneath Hutchinson to put the Sound Tigers up 2-1. Hamill earned his second point of the game when he batted a loose puck in mid air from the slot past Nilsson with 7:58 left in regulation to bring Providence even.
However, the line of DiBenedetto, Cizikas and Wallace would combine to propel the Sound Tigers to their first home win of the 2011-12 season in the waning moments of regulation. Wallace sent the puck on net from the right circle and Hutchinson made the initial save, deflecting the rebound into the slot. Cizikas crashed the net and knocked the loose puck past Hutchinson, setting off the celebration as the Sound Tigers held off Providence in the final seconds and came away with their first win on home ice.
Nilsson made 32 saves to earn his team-leading third win of the season. Wallace assisted on every goal tonight and his line combined for seven points and a plus-8 plus/minus rating.
The Sound Tigers continue their five-game homestand on Wednesday morning when they host their annual Cool Fun 101 game against the Connecticut Whale at 11:00 a.m.