BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Chris Conner and Harry Zolnierczyk both tallied a pair of goals to help lead the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 5-2 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in their season opener at Webster Bank Arena.
Conner helped the Penguins tie the game, 2-2, just 2.1 seconds before the second intermission on a power play goal. With time dwindling down in the period, defenseman Brendan Mikkelson had his point shot stopped by Sound Tigers goalie Anders Nilsson, but Conner dived to the ice to backhand the loose puck across the goal line.
The deadlock would carry on until the 12:24 mark of the third as Brian Gibbons started a 2-on-1 rush and laid a pass on the stick of Conner that he roofed to the top of the Bridgeport net to put the Penguins ahead for good.
Eleven seconds after Conner’s goal, Zolnierczyk dug the puck out of the far corner of the Sound Tigers zone and slipped a low shot under the leg pad of Nilsson to make it, 4-2. Zolnierczyk completed the scoring and made it a three-goal lead with 4:19 remaining in regulation, registering his second of the match.
Down by a score of 1-0 after the first, the Sound Tigers found the back of the net twice in the opening minutes of the second period to pull ahead. Anders Lee evened the match 1:07 into the middle frame when he took a centering pass in front of the crease from Ryan Strome and put the puck high side over Jeff Deslauriers.
Bridgeport then took the lead four minutes later during a 5-on-4 advantage as Dallas Jackson sent a circle-to-circle feed that Kirill Kabanov one-timed inside the left post.
Skating in his first regular season game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Scott Harrington put his team up, 1-0, on the power play at 12:56 of the opening period. Tom Kostopoulos won an offensive zone faceoff into the slot and the rookie defenseman was left alone to send the puck past the blocker of Nilsson.
Deslauriers made 22 saves to record the victory for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The Penguins were 2-for-6 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins take the ice for their home opener on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7:05 p.m. as they face off against the Hershey Bears at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season ticket packages, including 22-game
plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at 570-208-7367.
– penguins –