BRIDGEPORT, CT - John Persson's goal in the sixth round of the overtime shootout lifted the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to a 4-3 victory over the Norfolk Admirals at Webster Bank Arena Sunday afternoon. The Admirals (1-0-0-1) conclude the season opening weekend road trip by grabbing three of a possible four points in the standings.
A scoreless opening frame gave way to a wild second period which featured five goals and a fight as time expired.
Norfolk struck first scoring a shorthanded tally from Max Friberg at 4:56. The Admirals Chris Wagner fielded the puck from behind the net and lobbed it to the top of the crease to Friberg who slipped it past Bridgeport goaltender Anders Nilsson for the goal and the 1-0 lead.
Nearly four minutes later, Bridgeport countered with a shorthanded strike of their own, as Wetmore created a turnover and broke in on the right wing. Wetmore ripped a shot which beat Norfolk netminder John Gibson tying the game at one.
On the same power play, Norfolk reclaimed the lead when Stefan Noesen grabbed the puck behind the net and flipped it to the top of the crease. The puck was then flexed by Rickard Rakell into the net for the goal. Rakell's second of the season put the Admirals up 2-1.
The Sound Tigers countered less than a minute later, as Andrey Pedan fired a shot from the point which clipped over the shoulder of Gibson tying the game at two.
Bridgeport took its first lead of the game nearly five minutes later on a power play marker by Joe Diamond. After a scramble in front of Gibson, Diamond found the loose rubber amidst the scrum and tapped it into the net for the go-ahead goal.
As time expired in the period, Zach Stortini and Joe Finley squared off at center to conclude a busy second frame, as the Sound Tigers took the 3-2 lead into the break.
The Admirals leaned on their penalty kill unit to once again generate some offense. At the 7:12 mark, Norfolk's Joseph Cramarossa stole the puck away from Nilsson behind the net. Cramarossa fed the puck to Devante Smith-Pelly in the slot who wristed it into the back of the net past a diving Nilsson for the second shorthanded goal of the game for Norfolk. Smith-Pelly's first of the season tied the game at three.
The Admirals had a great opportunity to reclaim the lead with a 5-on-3 power play in the game's final four minutes. However, Bridgeport was able to kill off the penalties and forced the game to overtime.
Neither team generated much in the extra session, and Norfolk would head to the shootout for the second time in as many days.
The Admirals received a goal from Rakell in the first round of the shootout. Rakell is now 2-for-2 in shootout attempts this season. Bridgeport also scored with its first shooter, as Ryan Strome lit the lamp writing a shot past Gibson's blocker. For the next four rounds, both teams traded off unsuccessful chances. The game was finally sealed in the sixth round of the shootout by John Persson who beat Gibson for the game winner, lifting the Sound Tigers to the 4-3 victory.
Nilsson earns the win stopping 32 of 35 shots faced, while Gibson takes the loss allowing three goals on 40 shots seen in the game.
The Admirals will now return home with three of four possible points in their pockets, and will get set for the home opener at Scope on Friday beginning at 7:30 p.m.
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