BRIDGEPORT, CT - Matt Donovan and Casey Cizikas each scored a pair of goals, and Johan Sundstrom added two assists as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Albany Devils 4-3 at Webster Bank Arena on Wednesday night. With the win, the Sound Tigers have recorded at least one point in five straight games as their record improves to 13-11-1-2. The Devils fall to 9-9-0-6.
Both teams relinquished leads in the game before Donovan’s second goal of the night with 7:16 left in regulation broke a 3-3 tie and proved to be the game-winner. Back and forth play told the story, as neither side was able build off of momentum. Head Coach Scott Pellerin was happy with the win, but gave credit where credit was due on the game-winning goal.
“Bogy (Assistant Coach Eric Boguniecki) was making a change with the defense, but I didn’t know initially,” Pellerin said. “It ended up being a great change, because Donovan was able to take that faceoff win and work it down the weak side.”
Johan Sundstrom won the draw back to Donovan, who skated the puck down the half-wall towards the bottom of the right faceoff circle. Donovan sent a shot through Albany goaltender Keith Kinkaid’s pads, and Sound Tigers goalie Kevin Poulin made the biggest of his 31 saves in the final seconds of regulation to make the goal stand as the game-winner.
Cizikas put the Sound Tigers ahead 7:10 into the game with his first goal of the night. The Toronto, ON native took a feed from Colin McDonald at the blue line of the Albany zone, skated into the slot and sent a shot through a screen over Kinkaid’s right shoulder.
The Devils responded with a pair of goals just 1:09 apart in the second part of the opening period. Mike Sislo netted his first tally of the season with a shot from the low slot at 14:45, and Mattias Tedenby followed it with a rebound off of his own shot at 15:54 to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.
Donovan’s first goal of the night evened the score 1:45 into the second stanza. Sean Backman found Donovan above the left circle from behind the Albany net, and Donovan skated the puck into the slot before firing over Kinkaid’s left shoulder.
The Sound Tigers grabbed the lead just as a power play expired midway through the second period. Sundstrom held the puck in the left corner below the Albany goal line, then fired a quick pass through the Albany defense towards the front of the net. Cizikas one-timed Sundstrom’s pass for his second goal of the night, giving the Sound Tigers a 3-2 lead with 7:46 left in the middle frame.
Albany’s Matt Anderson scored on the power play with 4:21 left in the second period to knot the score at three. Poulin made a pair of big saves towards the end of the second period, and turned aside all of Albany’s 12 shots in the third period to preserve the win for the Sound Tigers.
The Sound Tigers return to action on Saturday night when they host the Adirondack Phantoms at 7:00 p.m.
NOTES: The Sound Tigers have recorded a point in five straight games (3-0-1-1) after an eight-game winless streak … The Sound Tigers are now 6-0-0-0 in games where Casey Cizikas scores at least one goal … John Persson and Donovan were each a +3 rating in the game … Albany outshot the Sound Tigers 34-30 … The Sound Tigers are 7-3-0-1 at Webster Bank Arena this season.
1. BRI: Matt Donovan
2. BRI: Casey Cizikas
3. BRI: Johan Sundstrom
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
22 Nino Niederreiter - 11 Casey Cizikas (A) - 13 Colin McDonald (C)
23 John Persson - 28 Johan Sundstrom - 24 David Ullstrom
40 Mike Halmo - 14 Matt Watkins - 16 Sean Backman
44 Brett Gallant - 4 Scott Campbell - 20 Blair Riley
46 Matt Donovan - 6 Ty Wishart
27 Aaron Ness - 8 Nathan McIver
15 Marc Cantin - 7 Jon Landry (A)
38 Kevin Poulin (starter)
45 Anders Nilsson