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Sound Tigers get physical, top Admirals

Updated 11:43 pm, Wednesday, November 7, 2012


  • Bridgeport Sound Tigers' Sean Backman passes the puck as Norfolk Admirals' Mat Clark defends during their hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. Photo: Autumn Driscoll / Connecticut Post
    Bridgeport Sound Tigers' Sean Backman passes the puck as Norfolk Admirals' Mat Clark defends during their hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. Photo: Autumn Driscoll


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BRIDGEPORT -- First came two big Colin McDonald hits on Ryan Parent. Brock Nelson nailed Kyle Palmieri. Brandon DeFazio followed with another check on Parent.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers laid an early pounding on the Norfolk Admirals. Maybe that physical play helped in a 4-2 win Wednesday morning at Webster Bank Arena.

"We're starting to learn that we play better as a team when everybody's playing physical, not just a couple of guys," McDonald said. "We did it against Hershey (3-2 win Saturday). We didn't do it against Wilkes-Barre (5-3 loss Sunday), and it cost us."

Wednesday was the Sound Tigers' 10th annual "Cool Fun 101" game, geared toward school groups; attendance was 7,704, though some groups couldn't attend after missing classes last week during storm recovery.

The Admirals tied the game twice in the second period on goals by Palmieri (a pretty move and rifled shot on the power play) and Emerson Etem around Johan Sundstrom's power-play rebound goal.

But in the last minute of the period, Nelson picked off Corey Elkins' backhanded clearing pass in the slot and wristed it past Frederik Andersen to take the lead for good.

"I was trying to make a read," Nelson said. "Luckily, it was the right one."

Bridgeport had the early jump, and McDonald used a defenseman as a screen on the right wing to catch goalie Frederik Anderson off the near post 3:40 into the game.

"For an 11 o'clock game, the guys brought their night effort," Bridgeport coach Scott Pellerin said. "It was a good team effort from everyone."

Kevin Poulin, who was pulled after two periods and four goals on Sunday, made 28 saves and denied some good Norfolk chances before Nino Niederreiter drove in off the right wing to put the game away with 4:26 remaining.

The physical game spilled over into five fights, three of them by Bridgeport's Brett Gallant, which earned him an automatic game misconduct.

The Sound Tigers shuffled their line combinations after Sunday's loss.

"I was pretty frustrated after Sunday," McDonald said. "It was just disappointing to play like that after the way we played the night before."

Nelson moved between Niederreiter and McDonald, and Casey Cizikas centered John Persson and Brandon DeFazio.

"It was nice -- I didn't even think of it, but the whole line was able to score," McDonald said.

"It's a good start for us, a good first game playing together."

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp; http://blog.connpost.com/fornabaio

Norfolk 0 2 0 -- 2

Bridgeport 1 2 1 -- 4

First Period -- 1, Bridgeport, McDonald 2 (Hill), 3:40. Penalties -- Bodie, Nor, major (fighting), 6:19; Gallant, Bpt, major (fighting), 6:19; Riley, Bpt (tripping), 6:19; Watkins, Bpt (slashing), 13:43; Parent, Nor (holding), 17:26.

Second Period -- 2, Norfolk, Palmieri 4 (Holland), :39. 3, Bridgeport, Sundstrom 2 (Nelson, Persson), 4:58 (pp). 4, Norfolk, Etem 3 (Lasch, Andersen), 9:12. 5, Bridgeport, Nelson 5 (Landry), 19:19. Penalties -- Niederreiter, Bpt (interference), :33; Lasch, Nor (goaltender interference), 3:05; Donovan, Bpt (tripping), 6:52; Rosehill, Nor, major (fighting), 9:54; Gallant, Bpt, major (fighting), 9:54.

Third Period -- 6, Bridgeport, Niederreiter 6 (Backman), 15:34. Penalties -- Landry, Bpt (hooking), 5:45; Hendry, Nor (holding stick), 10:58; Hendry, Nor, major (fighting), 13:15; McDonald, Bpt, major (fighting), 13:15; Kurtz, Nor, major (fighting), 19:40; Riley, Bpt, major (fighting), 19:40; Bodie, Nor, major (fighting), 20:00; Gallant, Bpt, double minor-major-game misconduct (spearing, fighting), 20:00.

Shots on goal -- Norfolk 13-8-9--30. Bridgeport 9-7-10--26.

Power play opportunities -- Norfolk 1 of 5, Bridgeport 1 of 3.

Goaltenders -- Norfolk, Andersen 3-2-0 (26 shots-22 saves). Bridgeport, Poulin 6-2-0 (30-28).

Attendance -- 7,704. Referee -- T. Koharski. Linesmen -- Briggs, Baker.

3 stars

1. COLIN McDONALD, BRIDGEPORT: Set the early physical tone and scored the first goal.

2. BROCK NELSON, BRIDGEPORT: Buried a turnover to take the lead for good.

3. RYAN LASCH, NORFOLK: Nice move set up the second goal.

UNSUNG HERO: Kevin Poulin bounced back from a rough game Sunday with 28 saves.

UP NEXT: Friday at Manchester, 7 p.m.


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