Strome, 19, has goal, assist in Sound Tigers' win
Updated 11:58 pm, Tuesday, April 2, 2013
WORCESTER, Mass. -- They wanted to ease Ryan Strome into the professional game, but sometimes the kids just make it look easy.
"I was a little bit nervous before the game," said Strome, 19, who joined the team Monday after his junior team was eliminated last week. "It's nice to get that one out of the way and just worry about hockey now."
His goal got Bridgeport on the board late in the first after the Sharks took a 2-0 lead. He set up Joey Diamond's first pro goal, the game-winner, with 52.4 seconds left in the second.
The Sound Tigers are 12th in the Eastern Conference, six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot, with nine games remaining.
But they settled in and outshot the Sharks 31-22. Worcester is now a point behind Bridgeport.
"We stuck to our game plan," Diamond said.
"Ricky played great. It was a good win for us."
Strome, the fifth pick in the 2011 NHL draft, scored Bridgeport's first goal on a snap shot from the top of the right circle -- right where Brock Nelson told him to be -- with 2:01 left in the period off Nelson's faceoff win.
Ty Wishart, even more wide open in the right circle than Tarasov and Hamilton were in front, tied it at 2:16 of the second. Then Strome corralled a loose puck, carried around the right circle and found Diamond in front for a redirection and the lead.
"Credit him for going to the front of the net, going to the dirty area," Strome said.
Brandon DeFazio added a goal in the third, coming off the endboards and wrapping the puck around the right post.
Another prospect is on the way: Newsday reported that Islanders draft pick Andrey Pedan, a 6-foot-4, 204-pound defenseman, will report to Bridgeport on Wednesday.
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1. RYAN STROME, BRIDGEPORT: A goal and an assist in his pro debut.
2. JOEY DIAMOND, BRIDGEPORT: Scrappy rookie goes to the net, scores his first as a pro, the game-winner.
3. MATT NIETO, WORCESTER: BU product with an assist in his own pro debut.
UNSUNG HERO: Brock Nelson won the draw that set up Strome's goal.
UP NEXT: Thursday vs. Worcester, 11 a.m.
-- MICHAEL FORNABAIO