BRIDGEPORT, CT - Four different players scored, and the line of Colin McDonald, Brock Nelson and Nino Niederreiter swept the three stars selection as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers skated to a 4-2 victory over the Norfolk Admirals on Wednesday at Webster Bank Arena. Nelson led the scoring with a goal and an assist, as the Sound Tigers improved to 6-3-0-0 (12 points), while the Admirals dropped to 6-3-0-0 (12 points).
Sound Tigers Head Coach Scott Pellerin was pleased with the way the team performed, given the early 11 a.m. start, as well as their ability to bounce back from Sunday’s loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Bridgeport is 3-0-0-0 following a loss this season.
“As a coach, you look for consistency,” Pellerin said. “That was a good hockey team we played today. I’m proud of the way the guys stuck together. We had four lines rolling well and everybody had an impact on the game.”
The Sound Tigers took an early 1-0 lead on McDonald’s second goal of the season. Defenseman Jordan Hill chipped the puck up the neutral-zone boards to McDonald, who skated into the Admirals zone along the right side. His wrist shot went through a defenseman and beat Norfolk goaltender Frederik Anderson glove-side at 3:40.
“I was calling for it in the middle of the ice,” McDonald said. “Hillsy made a good pass. I was taking it wide like I normally do and the defenseman had a bad gap on me, so I just tried to use him as a screen.”
A couple minutes later, the first fight of the morning broke out in the Norfolk zone. Brett Gallant and Troy Bodie each connected with several punches, but Gallant took Bodie to the ice with a hard right.
The Admirals evened the score on a power play early in the second period. Peter Holland won a draw back to Kyle Palmieri, who found space in the right circle and snapped a hard wrist shot past Bridgeport netminder Kevin Poulin just 39 seconds into the frame.
The Sound Tigers would regain the lead just minutes later as time was winding down on a man advantage of their own. Nelson’s shot from the boards was deflected on goal by John Persson, and Andersen kicked the rebound to the other side of the zone to Johan Sundstrom, who found the open net at 4:58.
Norfolk tied the contest again at 9:12 courtesy of Emerson Etem. Andersen made a long pass up the ice to Ryan Lasch, who skated toward the end boards. When he reached the goal line, Lasch fed the puck to Etem in the slot for an open one-timer.
The Sound Tigers took a 3-2 lead late in the second period after sustained pressure forced a turnover in the Norfolk zone. A clearing attempt found Nelson near the high slot, who quickly ripped a shot off the post and in at 19:19 for the eventual game winner.
Niederreiter’s team-leading sixth goal of the season at 15:34 of the third period provided an insurance marker. The play started in the Bridgeport zone, when Sean Backman chipped a pass off the boards down the ice. Niederreiter beat his man to the puck in the Admirals’ zone and then angled toward the goal, beating Andersen blocker-side while being spun to the ice by two Norfolk defensemen.
“From knowing what kind of player Backs is, I knew he was going to chip the puck up there,” Niederreiter said. “I was trying to get it back to him, but the defenseman covered the lane. Somehow I got my shot off and it rolled in.”
Niederreiter’s goal capped the scoring for the day, but the action was far from over. John Kurtz delivered an open ice hit on Nelson in the neutral zone with 20 seconds remaining and Blair Riley jumped in, dropping the gloves with the Norfolk forward. After time expired, Gallant took on Bodie for the second time. The fight was Gallant’s third of the day, including one with Jay Rosehill in the second period.
The Sound Tigers are back in action Friday, Nov. 9, when they head north to take on the Manchester Monarchs at 7 p.m.
1. BRI: Colin McDonald
2. BRI: Brock Nelson
3. BRI: Nino Niederreiter
Wednesday’s 11 a.m. start time coincided with “Cool Fun 101,” the annual school day game which stresses the importance of a quality education and its relationship with the game of hockey. Several school groups were in attendance.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
22 Nino Niederreiter – 29 Brock Nelson – 13 Colin McDonald
23 John Persson – 11 Casey Cizikas – 42 Brandon DeFazio
40 Mike Halmo – 28 Johan Sundstrom – 16 Sean Backman
44 Brett Gallant – 14 Matt Watkins – 20 Blair Riley
46 Matt Donovan – 25 Jordan Hill
15 Marc Cantin – 3 Travis Hamonic
27 Aaron Ness – 7 Jon Landry
38 Kevin Poulin (starter)
45 Anders Nilsson