The Bridgeport Sound Tigers skated away in a dramatic 4-3 victory in overtime Friday night in Norfolk, Virginia, the home of the Norfolk Admirals.
The Sound Tigers took an early one goal lead on the power play as Sound Tiger left wing John Persson notched his 8th goal of the season ripping the puck past Admirals rookie netminder Frederik Andersen.
Devante Smith-Pelly hit pay dirt for the Admirals to tie the game at 1-1 as he knocked a Peter Holland rebound home against Bridgeport goalie Anders Nilsson just minutes after the Persson tally. Norfolk controlled the lead in the shot department in the 1st outshooting Bridgeport 15-4.
The Sound Tigers climbed atop the scoreboard at the 1:13 mark of the 2nd. Brock Nelson tallied his 11th goal of the campaign as he scored on a wraparound that eluded Andersen and his defense to pull the visitors ahead 2-1.
Norfolk evened things up at 2-2 on the man advantage as Peter Holland redirected a Jordan Hendry shot. Holland scored his 11th goal of the 2012-2013 season. Holland leads the Admirals in scoring. When the buzzer signaled the end of the middle stanza, the shots on net were 9-6 in favor of the visitors.
Ex-Admiral defenseman Ty Wishart put the Sound Tigers back in the driver’s seat early in the 3rd period as he fired a blue line bomb that snuck by Andersen to push them ahead 3-2. Patrick Maroon answered the Wishart goal with a tally that knotted the tilt at 3-3. Chris Wagner sauced the puck to Maroon who found the back of the net via a one-timer goal.
The two foes couldn’t figure things out in regulation so the game went into overtime. Casey Cizikas capped the dramatic win as he crashed the net and pushed the puck past Andersen. In the commotion, the net was knocked off the pegs causing the goal to be reviewed by referee Trent Knorr. The referee signaled it was a legal goal as Bridgeport skated away victorious.
The Admiral fans showed their discomfort with the call by hurling beer bottles and trash on to the playing surface. Norfolk had the upper hand in shots outshooting Bridgeport 30-26. Both clubs were 1 for 6 on the man advantage.
Norfolk head bench boss Trent Yawney described how Knorr ruled the goal saying, “He was knocked into our goaltender and it was a good goal.” With the loss Yawney touched on the positives declaring, “They stuck with the game plan for 56 minutes and we were behind and they found a way to tie the game up that to me is the biggest positive. They weren’t a real lot of lows in our game like there has been in the past. “
Admirals leading scorer Peter Holland also shared his positive thoughts stating, “Pretty much our whole game, right from the back end I thought Freddy played really well. I thought we moved pucks pretty well. Quick ups in the neutral zone. I think we need to start following pucks towards the net and keep going there and I think we will get rewarded.”
The two teams will rematch tonight at 7:15 p.m. at Scope Arena in downtown Norfolk.
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