PENS GRAB POINT, FALL IN OVERTIME TO SOUND TIGERS
WILKES-BARRE, PA - Mark Wotton's goal 51 seconds into overtime was the difference, as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers posted a 3-2 win against the Penguins on Sunday evening at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.
The win moved the Sound Tigers (36-17-3-2) two points ahead of the Penguins (37-19-2-2) in the East Division standings.
“We knew what was at stake this weekend,” said head coach Todd Reirden, whose team also dropped a 3-2 decision in Bridgeport on Saturday night. “Now they’ve moved solely into second ahead of us, that’s something for us to shoot for and continue to push for these last 20 games here.”
The Penguins battled back all night on Sunday, only to see Wotton swat home his fourth goal of the season during a goal mouth scrum less than a minute into the extra frame.
“A couple bad bounces,” lamented Reirden. “Rebound kicks out, Deryk Engelland tries to clear it and it hits off Minnie’s skate. Then kicks back to their guy and they’re able to score from there.”
The Penguins were able to grab a point thanks to Jean-Michel Daoust, who beat a Bridgeport defender to a puck behind the Sound Tigers net, then banked a shot off of goaltender Nathan Lawson’s right skate that trickled over the goal line with 2:15 left in regulation.
“We’re really proud of our guys, the way we worked through that third period,” said Reirden. “Seventeen shots on net for us, gave ourselves a chance to tie it up there.”
The Penguins held a decided advantage in the shot column all night, putting 41 pucks on Lawson, a factor which Reirden said usually spells success for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
“We really feel like we give ourselves a real good chance to win hockey games when we get to 40,” he said. “Something we had talked about before the game tonight was Bridgeport had out-shot us the last five games we played them. That was something that was definitely a point of emphasis before the game.
“If we continue to play like we did in the third period, I like our chances as we move forward here.”
The Sound Tigers took the early lead when Jesse Joensuu slipped his 17th of the season behind John Curry. But Tommy Goebel tied the game less than two minutes later, sending a shot from the right boards that hit the far post and then deflected into the Bridgeport net at 14:27 of the first.
Mike Iggulden notched the only goal of the second period, taking advantage of a three-on-one to scoop home his 23rd of the campaign at 5:02.
Curry was solid again for the Pens, stopping 23 of 25 shots during regulation and overtime.