SYRACUSE, NY - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost to the Syracuse Crunch Saturday night by a score of 5-0. The Crunch had five different goal scorers in the contest, while goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis stopped all 22 shots he saw for his first AHL win and shutout. Anders Nilsson got the start in net for the Sound Tigers but was replaced by Kenny Reiter after two periods.
Neither team scored in the first period, though the Sound Tigers had four power plays with which to work, including a 1:33 five-on-three advantage. They managed just five shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes, however, while Syracuse put eight shots on Anders Nilsson. The best chance for either team did not register a shot on goal, though, as Riley Wetmore rifled a one-timer from the base of the left circle that rang off the post early in the frame. Nilsson also came up big later in the period on a Nikita Nesterov breakaway opportunity.
The Crunch stepped on the gas pedal in the second period and didn’t let off, scoring five times and finishing the frame with a commanding lead. Just 49 seconds into the second, the Sound Tigers were unable to capitalize at one end and the Crunch took it the other way before a wrist shot from J.P. Cote snuck past Nilsson. Less than two minutes later, Vlad Namestnikov drove to the net up the middle to beat Nilsson and make it 2-0.
The Crunch also scored three goals in the final five minutes of the second period. Eight seconds after a John Persson minor, Syracuse won the draw back to Matt Taormina, whose wrist shot from the blue line beat Nilsson for the goal. A minute and a half later, Evan Rankin broke in on net and beat Nilsson for the fourth Crunch goal of the period.
The Sound Tigers picked up a power play with 21 seconds remaining in the middle period, but the Crunch took advantage of that as well, as Cedric Paquette took it himself down the right wing on a 2-on-1 and beat Nilsson, making it 5-0 after two.
The lone highlight for the Sound Tigers in the second period was a long fight between Brett Gallant and Eric Neilson. Both players exchanged haymakers at center ice for the better part of a minute before ending the bout standing.
Neither team scored in the third period, as the Crunch were able to coast to a 5-0 victory.
The Sound Tigers play the middle game of their three-game road trip Wednesday with a 7:00 p.m. matchup against the Hartford Wolfpack.