BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Syracuse Crunch in a wild affair Sunday evening, holding on for a 6-5 victory. John Persson scored a hat trick, while Anders Lee, Scooter Vaughan and Andrew Clark picked up goals, as well. Persson’s hat trick goal proved to be the game-winner and broke a 5-5 tie with less than five minutes to play. Kenny Reiter saw 32 shots and earned his ninth win of the season
After multiple scoring opportunities for both teams, the Sound Tigers jumped on the board first with a power-play goal at the 13:19 mark of the first. Ryan Strome found Lee just outside the crease where Lee moved quickly before Crunch goalie Kristers Gudlevskis could react. Less than three minutes after Bridgeport’s goal, Syracuse Captain Mike Angelidis found the back of the net to even the score at one.
Persson got his first of the night just 2:30 after the Crunch tied the score after Persson he caught an odd bounce in the chest close to the Crunch net. Persson wasted no time dropping the puck and slipping it past Gudlevskis to give the Sound Tigers a 2-1 lead, which they took into the second period,.
The Sound Tigers extended their lead early in the third on Vaughan’s second goal in as many nights. Vaughn found himself in the perfect position to pounce on a rebound off a shot from Riley Wetmore. Vaughn flicked the puck over the left shoulder of Gudlevskis to extend the lead to 3-1.
The Crunch answered midway through the period. Reiter stopped a shot from Brett Connolly, but was unable to control the rebound. Vladislav Namestnikov picked up the rebound above the left faceoff circle and made it 3-2.
Less than a minute later, Joey Diamond raced towards the Crunch goal on a breakaway. He lost control of the puck close to the goal, but managed to get the puck to Clark with a backhand pass into the slot. Clark found the back of the net to put the Sound Tigers up 4-2.
With less than a minute to play in the second, Angelidis lit the lamp for his second goal of the game. Reiter stopped an initial shot from Dana Tyrell, but Angelidis found the rebound and got it past Reiter The period ended with the Sound Tigers out in front by a goal, 4-3.
The Crunch tied the score at four with eight minutes left to go in the third. With the Crunch on a 4-on-3 advantage, Matt Taormina fired a rocket right from center point to even the score at four. However, the Sound Tigers quickly recaptured the lead a minute and a half later with Persson’s second tally of the night. After gaining control of the puck, Persson ripped a shot just outside the left faceoff circle to make it 5-4.
With six minutes left in the game Nikita Nesterov let one fly from the point to tie the score at five. But the Sound Tigers regained the lead for good less than two minutes later. Following an outbreak of fights, the Sound Tigers found themselves with an extra man on the ice. John Persson hit the back of the net for the third time, completing his hat trick and giving the Sound Tigers the lead for good.
The Sound Tigers travel to Albany for a game against the Devils Friday night before returning home to face the Springfield Falcons Saturday.