Bridgeport, CT. – The Sound Tigers took game 1 of the best of seven series against the Hamilton Bulldogs by a final of 3-2. “Winning game 1 is paramount in a 2-3-2 series” said Sound Tigers Head Coach Steve Stirling. The game was hard fought and tied twice before the Sound Tigers scored the winning goal late in the third period.
The Sound Tigers opened the scoring in the first period when Jason Krog scored with help from Juraj Kolnik and Trent Hunter. In the second period the Bulldogs responded with a goal by Jason Chimera, the assists went to Bobby Allen and Brian Swanson.
With only thirty seconds left in the second period the Sound Tigers scored their second goal of the game off of Raffi Torres’ stick. Justin Mapletoft and Marko Tuomainen picked up the assists.
The Bulldogs came out in the third period and controlled the play scoring to tie the game at 2-2 when Jani Rita scored on Sound Tigers goaltender Rick DiPietro. This goal seemed to wake up the Sound Tigers. “We had to grind it out down the stretch” said Stirling.
The Sound Tigers played a smart third period and drew three power play opportunities, while not taking any penalties. The Sound Tigers converted on their third power play of the period when Hunter scored his second goal of the post season, assisted by Krog and Ken Sutton.
Late in the third with an empty net on the other side of the ice DiPietro made several huge saves to keep the Bulldogs from tying the game. “Rick (DiPietro) came up large when we needed him to,” said Stirling “He is finding away to focus when he is not facing a lot of shots.
The Bulldogs were 1 of 3 on the power play, goaltender Ty Conklin stopped 25 of 28 shots, and had seven penalties for fourteen minutes. The Sound Tigers were 1 of 7 on the power play, goaltender DiPietro mad 20 saves on 22 shots, and they had three penalties for six minutes. With the win the Sound Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the best of seven series.