March 2, 2013 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Adirondack Phantoms
A back-and-forth game on Saturday night in Bridgeport, Conn. would be taken by the Sound Tigers late on a goal by Brock Nelson with 3:33 remaining for a 4-3 decision. Adirondack led early with a fast start, then trailed late, then rallied to tie the score, but eventually fell after it appeared they had the best chance to score the game-winner themselves.
Rick DiPietro struggled early by the long-time New York Islander who was sent to Bridgeport earlier in the week was able to bounce back to secure his first AHL victory since 2009-10. For DiPietro, it was an especially sweet victory after surrendering five goals in just one period in his AHL season-debut the night before at Connecticut.
Matt Konan scored his first professional goal late in the third period to tie the game at 3-3 on the rebound of an Andreas Lilja slapper off the crossbar. And Adirondack had the rare opportunity to immediately go on another power play right after that with the chance to make it a big two-goal swing and walk away from Webster Bank Arena with the win.
But instead, Nelson came out of the penalty box for Bridgeport after the Sound Tigers killed the power-play and was able to deke his way around Oliver Lauridsen with a tremendous move in the right-circle allowing him to cut directly onto Scott Munroe for the game-winning goal top-shelf.
Jason Akeson (8th) and Garrett Roe (5th) scored in the first period for the Phantoms who took 1-0 and 2-1 leads for the Phantoms. Jack Combs scored in-between those two goals with a breakaway tally on Munroe. Combs would have two other close-calls to goals but would settle for a pair of assists in the Bridgeport comeback.
Adirondack led 2-1 at the first intermission and were smartly outplaying the Sound Tigers to start the game.
Bridgeport would rally in the second period and control the play but sharp goaltending by Munroe would keep them in check. He only allowed a long point-shot goal by Jon Landry that appeared to deflect off a Phantoms defenseman. Adirondack hung on in the middle frame and the score was tied 2-2 after two periods.
Bridgeport took the lead on another Jack Combs push early in the third period. Combs' shot from the right-wings boards was tipped in front by Matt Watkins in mid-air and he directed it past Munroe for the go-ahead goal for the Sound Tigers.
Adirondack equalized with under six minutes remaining in the third on a power play and a delayed penalty. With the quick 6-on-4 attack, Lilja's blast from the right point snuck through DiPietro and rang off the iron. Konan hustled into the crease from his point position to chip in the rebound for his first career goal to dramatically tie the game.
The 6-on-4 goal meant that the Phantoms still had a full power play and now had the chance to take the lead but Bridgeport killed off the man-advantage this time and then Nelson put on his move coming right out of the box as the Islanders' first-round pick out of the University of North Dakota notched an impressive game-winner.
Bridgeport ended their seven-game winless streak. Adirondack suffered their first regulation loss against Bridgeport this year and are now 2-1-1 vs. the Sound Tigers in 2012-13.
The game was a Sound Tigers alumni reunion in the goaltender matchup. Munroe starred for the Sound Tigers in 2009-10. DiPietro helped lead Bridgeport to the Calder Cup Finals in 2001-02.
Jon Sim played parts of two seasons for Bridgeport in 2009-10 and 2010-11. One of the last games he had played in this building he scored a hat trick for the Sound Tigers in the 10-11 season. He also had a couple of chances on his former Islanders' teammate DiPietro.
Scratches for the Phantoms included David Laliberte, Matthew Ford and Jeff Dimmen. Michael Leighton was also a scratch for the Phantoms. he was assigned to Adirondack by Philadelphia on Friday but will meet the team in Glens Falls for the game on Sunday. Cal Heeter served as the backup goalie to Munroe for this one. The Phantoms are carrying three goalies on their roster for the time-being.
Bridgeport outshot the Phantoms 40-25. Adirondack was 2-for-7 on the power play while the Sound Tigers were held to 0-for-5.
The Phantoms return home to conclude the weekend schedule with a 3:00 game against the Albany Devils presented by Trustco Bank. Post-Game Photos with the players and Sunday Family 3-Pack specials highlight the docket. Adirondack continues their homestand next Friday and Saturday back-to-back against Springfield and Connecticut featuring a Phantoms T-Shirt Giveaway for the Saturday game. Call the Phantoms for tickets at 518-480-3355.