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Whale 7, Sound Tigers 5

Three-point nights for Ullstrom and Sundstrom not enough for Sound Tigers against in-state rival

Friday, 11.23.2012 / 10:53 PM / News
By Travis Betts
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Whale 7, Sound Tigers 5
Three-point nights for Ullstrom and Sundstrom not enough for Sound Tigers against in-state rival


Despite overcoming an early two-goal deficit and establishing a two-goal lead, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers fell 7-5 to the Connecticut Whale Friday at Webster Bank Arena. The loss drops the Sound Tigers to 10-6-0-0 (20 points), while Connecticut improves to 7-7-1-0 (15 points).

Head Coach Scott Pellerin was pleased with his team’s effort, but conceded that the group needs to tighten up several areas before their next game Saturday night.

“We’re going to go over the video and see what went wrong and what we could have done differently. I was happy with our compete level and I thought our effort was there. Sometimes you’re going to get the effort but not the execution. And we were just off a little bit and it cost us.”

The Whale took an early lead courtesy of Chris Kreider. Logan Pyett won a puck battle at center ice and chipped it into the Bridgeport zone. Kreider skated down the left wing and fired a wrist shot over Sound Tigers goalie Anders Nilsson at 1:39 to make it 1-0.

Connecticut doubled their advantage midway through the first period on a scramble in front of Nilsson. Chad Kolarik batted a loose puck from in front, and although Nilsson made the original save, Tommy Grant was on the doorstep to make it 2-0 at 12:23.

Three minutes later, David Ullstrom drew the Sound Tigers back to within one with his third goal of the season at 14:27. Twelve seconds after drawing a boarding penalty to give the Sound Tigers a man advantage, Aaron Ness took a feed at the right point and found Ullstrom at the bottom of the circle to Connecticut goalie Cameron Talbot’s left. Ullstrom’s wrist shot from a hard angle found space over Talbot’s glove, making the score 2-1. Johan Sundstrom earned the secondary assist on the play.

After exchanging words off the second period’s opening draw, Brett Gallant and Micheal Haley went toe-to-toe 24 seconds in. Both players landed several punches, until Gallant struck with his right fist and wrestled Haley to the ice.

The Sound Tigers evened the score a minute later following a failed clearing attempt in the Connecticut zone. Ullstrom picked off a pass just inside the blue line, deked around a fallen Whale defender and slid the puck across the crease to John Persson. The rookie tapped the puck in from Talbot’s right for his fifth goal of the season, making it 2-2.

Minutes later, Bridgeport established its first lead of the evening directly off another turnover. Jason Clark made a quick one-touch pass off a Whale turnover to Sean Backman, who stickhandled through a pair of defensemen, deked to Talbot’s glove side and beat him top-shelf for his first tally of the season. Clark recorded his first professional point on the play.

The Whale knotted the score at 3-3 four minutes later in the middle period, immediately following a power play opportunity. Kris Newbury passed the puck from the right point to Chad Kolarik in the faceoff circle, who fed the puck right back. Newbury’s shot beat Nilsson at 8:19.

The Sound Tigers re-rook the lead four minutes into the third period thanks to Sundstrom. The rookie intercepted a pass at center ice, skated down the right wing and put the puck on goal. Talbot stopped the original shot, but Sundstrom gloved the high rebound, wrapped around the goal and buried it after a scramble, making it 4-3 at the 4:02 mark.

“I tried going around the net, and I had a bad angle,” Sundstrom said. “I just tried to shoot at the goalie, and obviously it worked. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough tonight.”

The Swedish line scored agains at 7:36 after Ullstrom brought the puck in and deked around a defenseman in the right circle. Talbot made a pad save on the first shot, as well as on Persson’s follow-up, but Sundstrom batted the puck over Talbot to make it 5-3.

“I was very happy with the way that line played,” Pellerin said of the trio of Sundstrom, Ullstrom and Persson. “They got some quality chances early in the game. They attacked on the rush and they were also able to work the puck low and in the dirty areas to get some goals around the net. That’s a strong characteristic of their game and that’s the way they need to play.”

But the Whale would not go away, and were able to cut the Sound Tigers lead to one less than a minute later. Matt Gilroy took a low shot from the top of the zone through traffic that missed Nilsson’s left pad to make it 5-4 at the 8:33 mark.

Five minutes later, Kolarik tied the game at 5-5 after the puck took an unpredictable bounce off the boards and made its way in front of the Bridgeport goal. Nilsson, expecting it to continue around the boards, shifted to the other post and was out of position when Kolarik tapped it in from point-blank range.

The game stayed tied for two minutes, until Kreider gave the Whale the lead for good. With the teams skating 4-on-4, the Whale worked the puck around the Sound Tigers zone. Sean Collins passed the puck from the left point down low to Pyett, who found Kreider in the slot. Nilsson, who lost his stick during a scrum seconds earlier, was unable to block Kreider’s shot at 15:27.

A minute later, the Sound Tigers were forced to kill a penalty to keep the game in reach. But after an extended Connecticut attack, Mark Hrivik made a cross-ice pass to Gilroy, who ripped home his second goal of the contest to give the Whale a two-goal cushion.

The Sound Tigers have a quick turnaround before their next game, a road contest on Saturday, Nov. 24 against the Binghamton Senators. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m.

Notes: Islanders Assistant Coach and former Sound Tigers Head Coach Brent Thompson was behind the bench for Bridgeport … The Sound Tigers extended their power play goal streak to eight consecutive games on David Ullstrom’s first period tally, and have the top-ranked power play in the Eastern Conference at 25.3% … Matt Donovan led the Sound Tigers with a plus-3 rating.

Three Stars:
1. CTW: Chris Kreider
2. BRI: David Ullstrom
3. CTW: Matt Gilroy

Bridgeport Sound Tigers
22 Nino Niederreiter – 29 Brock Nelson – 13 Colin McDonald
23 John Persson – 28 Johan Sundstrom – 24 David Ullstrom
16 Sean Backman – 14 Matt Watkins – 42 Brandon DeFazio
44 Brett Gallant – 72 Jason Clark – 20 Blair Riley

46 Matt Donovan – 6 Ty Wishart
27 Aaron Ness – 7 Jon Landry
8 Nathan McIver – 3 Travis Hamonic

45 Anders Nilsson (starter)
38 Kevin Poulin

Connecticut Whale
15 Marek Hrivik – 11 Kris Newbury – 42 Chad Kolarik
20 Chris Kreider – 7 Kyle Jean – 26 Brandon Segal
18 Micheal Haley – 10 JT Miller – 92 Christian Thomas
16 Tommy Grant – 90 Kelsey Tessier – 9 Ryan Bourque

97 Matt Gilroy – 39 Logan Pyett
3 Sam Klassen – 25 Sean Collins
48 Mike Vernace – 5 Blake Parlett

33 Cameron Talbot (starter)
31 Jason Missiaen




1 PIT 34 22 7 5 108 80 49
2 NYI 34 23 11 0 105 94 46
3 MTL 35 22 11 2 95 84 46
4 TBL 36 21 11 4 117 96 46
5 DET 35 18 8 9 100 87 45
6 TOR 35 20 12 3 118 102 43
7 NYR 32 18 10 4 97 83 40
8 WSH 34 17 11 6 99 90 40
9 BOS 35 18 14 3 91 91 39
10 FLA 32 15 9 8 73 82 38
11 PHI 34 14 14 6 97 101 34
12 OTT 34 14 14 6 90 94 34
13 CBJ 33 14 16 3 80 107 31
14 NJD 36 12 17 7 78 104 31
15 BUF 35 13 19 3 69 115 29
16 CAR 34 10 20 4 70 93 24


J. Tavares 34 13 16 -5 29
K. Okposo 34 8 21 -4 29
B. Nelson 34 14 13 6 27
R. Strome 34 6 15 12 21
F. Nielsen 34 6 11 -1 17
N. Leddy 34 5 10 8 15
J. Boychuk 24 2 12 6 14
N. Kulemin 34 6 7 -2 13
M. Grabovski 31 5 7 3 12
T. Hickey 33 2 9 3 11
J. Halak 18 6 0 .919 2.24
C. Johnson 5 5 0 .867 3.54 is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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