Devils Strike Early To Beat Sound Tigers, 5-3
LOWELL, Mass. - The Lowell Devils picked up a key victory in their push for the playoffs as they defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 5-3, on Sunday afternoon at the Tsongas Arena. Jon DiSalvatore notched a goal and two assists, while Pascal Rheaume potted two goals to lead the Devils offense.
With both teams playing their third game in three days, Lowell was able to get an early jump on Bridgeport with three goals in the first frame. The Devils got things going at 5:06 when Vladimir Zharkov fired a shot off the blocker of Peter Mannino, but Rheuame skated in to swat the rebound out of midair and into the net.
Lowell extended its lead with the help of the power play, when Nicklas Bergfors backhanded a loose puck under the outstretched stick of Mannino for his team-leading 21st goal of the season. Just over a minute later, the Devils struck again on the man-advantage as this time it was Rheaume pounding home a rebound for his second of the game and ninth of the year.
The Devils were able to maintain their three-goal cushion going into the third after trading goals in the middle period. Andrew MacDonald backhanded in a power play marker at 8:45 to make the score, 3-1, but DiSalvatore snuck a low wrist shot under Mannino almost four minutes later to put Lowell back up by three.
Alexander Vasyunov gave the Devils even more breathing room 5:44 into the third with an unassisted backhanded shot that snuck inside the near post and put his team up, 5-1.
Defensemen Chris Lee and Mark Wotton would both get the puck past goalie Scott Clemmensen to cut the lead in half, but the Devils were able to clamp down for the rest of the period and preserve the win.
Making his first start since March 1, Clemmensen made 30 saves for his sixth win of the season. Lowell went 2-for-5 on the power play and 2-of-3 on the penalty kill.
The Lowell Devils continue their playoff push on Wednesday, April 1 as they face the Manchester Monarchs in New Hampshire at 7:00 p.m. Listen as Ryan Johnston brings you all of the live action on 980AM-WCAP or at ahllive.com. For more information about individual tickets and group packages for Devils home games, call (978) 458-PUCK (7825) or log on to www.lowelldevilshockey.com.
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