BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers came away with a 7-3 victory over the Albany Devils Sunday afternoon. Matthew Pistilli, Aaron Ness and Ryan Strome all scored in the first period while Johan Sundstrom and Andrew Clark scored 16 seconds apart in the second period. Anders Lee and Scooter Vaughan added goals of their own in the third. Anders Nilsson stopped 33 shots for the victory in net.
The Sound Tigers got on the board first at 5:47 of the first period with Pistilli’s first as a member of the Sound Tigers. The Devils turned the puck over at the Sound Tigers blue line and Matt Donovan went racing the other way. He pulled up in the Devils zone and found Pistilli, who had moved to the high slot. Pistilli unleashed a blistering wrist shot to beat Devils goaltender Scott Wedgewood and make it a 1-0 game.
Less than a minute later, Ness picked up his fourth of the season on a wrist shot from the left circle. That gave the Sound Tigers a 2-0 lead, but they’d get another later in the period. At the 13:07 mark, Ryan Strome skated around the perimeter of the Devils defense before he took a wrist shot from center point. The puck made its way through traffic and slipped past Wedgewood, which made it a 3-0 Sound Tigers lead.
The Devils got one back late in the firs as Raman Hrabarenka’s shot from the right circle beat Nilsson and cut the Sound Tigers lead to two. Hrabarenka was playing in his first game since Jan. 26. The goal was the only shot out of 14 that got past Nilsson in the first as the Sound Tigers took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
Early in the second period, Scott Mayfield wound up and blasted a slap shot from the top of the right circle. Sundstrom was in front to deflect it past Wedgewood and make it a 4-1 game. 17 seconds later, Jake Newton took a shot that Wedgewood stopped, but Clark was right there to pounce on the loose puck and find the back of the net. That spelled the end of the contest for Wedgewood, who was replaced by Johan Hedberg.
Later in the second, Joe Whitney took a pass from Stefan Matteau and made a move to get to the slot. He found some space near the hashmarks and snapped a shot past Nilsson to cut the Sound Tigers lead to 5-2 at the 6:55 mark of the second period.
With the score still 5-2 in the third, the Sound Tigers continued to pile on to their lead. Mike Halmo entered the zone and dropped a pass to Lee on the left wing. Lee stickhandled through two Devils defensemen and went to the backhand to beat Hedberg five-hole. Less than three minutes later, the Sound Tigers were shorthanded when Vaughan turned on the jets and blew past the Albany defense for his fourth goal of the season.
On the same Albany power play, Hrabarenka earned his second goal of the night on a one-timer from the left circle. That brought the score to 7-3, but it was as close as the Devils got. The Sound Tigers travel to Hartford Friday before facing the Adirondack Phantoms at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Saturday night. They will be back at Webster Bank Arena to host the Providence Bruins Sunday at 3 p.m.