BRIDGEPORT, CT - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Albany Devils Sunday, winning in a shootout by a score of 3-2. Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Joey Diamond scored third-period goals while it took nine rounds for the shootout to decide a winner. Kenny Reiter earned his seventh win of the season, making 20 of 22 saves in the contest.
Albany took the early lead on Tim Sestito’s sixth goal of the season at 3:23 of the first period. Raman Hrabarenka took a shot from the point that Reiter stopped, but Sestito was all alone out in front and got the rebound past Reiter. The goal gave Albany a 1-0 lead, and though the Sound Tigers outplayed the Devils and led in shots by a 15-9 margin, Albany took the one-goal lead into the first intermission.
The Devils extended the lead to two in the second period as Joe Whitney, who leads the Devils in all offensive categories, converted on the power play. The man-advantage came after Marc Cantin was handed a major and a game misconduct for cross-checking. That gave the Devils five minutes of power-play time, and Whitney’s goal came within the first minute on a wrist shot from just outside the right circle. The Sound Tigers did well to handle the rest of the major penalty, however, and it remained 2-0 headed into the third period.
The Sound Tigers came out buzzing in the final 20 minutes of regulation and drew within one less than a minute into the third. The Sound Tigers drove to the net and bodies collided in front, which knocked down Devils goaltender Scott Wedgewood. Wedgewood was unable to get back to his feet as the puck came back to Bouchard in the right circle. The one-timer went in and was Bouchard’s third AHL goal of the season.
Later in the third period, Diamond, who played in his first game in over a month, found the back of the net to tie the score. Scott Mayfield, who had two assists in the game, had the puck at the right point and sent a shot towards the net. Diamond was perfectly situated in the slot for the deflection, and tipped it past Wedgewood for the goal.
The Sound Tigers had a pair of power plays late in the third but were not able to come up with the game-winner, so the teams went to overtime. Nothing was decided there, and extra rounds of the shootout were needed as well. Only Alan Quine and Mike Sislo scored in the initial five rounds, but after both Andrew Clark and Sestito were denied in the sixth round, Mike Halmo and Matt Donovan scored for the Sound Tigers while Harri Pesonen and Reece Scarlett converted for the Devils. That led to the decisive ninth round, where Philip-Michael Devos scored while Chris McKelvie did not, and the Sound Tigers picked up the win.
The Sound Tigers are on the road to play the Portland Pirates on Tuesday. Their next home game will also be against the Pirates on Saturday, Jan. 11.