Strome, Sound Tigers bounce back, beat Manchester
Published 7:26 pm, Sunday, December 1, 2013
BRIDGEPORT -- After Saturday's debacle in Albany, the challenge came Sunday from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers' coaches: raise the intensity. Battle harder.
Their best player was one of those who took it to heart, and Ryan Strome was a force in the Sound Tigers' 3-2 win over conference-leading Manchester at Webster Bank Arena.
Strome's hard forecheck set up the game's first goal. He scored to tie the game at 2, and he and Mike Halmo battled to set up Nick Larson for the game-winner with 6:00 left.
"The coaching staff really challenged us, every line, to step up our game, to bring that compete level," Strome said. "(Saturday) night we just kind of skated around."
Saturday night was an 8-6 disastrous loss in Albany in which the Sound Tigers were credited with just 15 shots. They tightened their game up Sunday and pushed for chances as the game went on.
Strome's line accounted for all three goals, and he has nine points now over a six-game scoring streak.
"For a young player, he's got a lot of responsibility," Bridgeport coach Scott Pellerin said. "We depend a lot on him, and especially his line. They performed very well here this weekend. Tonight, they brought their level of intensity, their compete level."
Strome and Mike Halmo each had two points, and Anders Lee also had an assist as the Sound Tigers won their second of three games in a three-in-three weekend. They beat Hartford 3-2 on Friday at home.
Kenny Reiter started all three, thrown right back in after making 24 saves on 32 shots Saturday. He stopped 29 shots Sunday.
"My first (three-in-three)," Reiter said. "The two wins were good. The loss was not ideal. I feel pretty good.
"It's definitely a confidence-builder for me to get that opportunity."
Attendance was 3,334.
Reiter stopped former Sound Tiger Sean Backman on a first-period breakaway and made a few other big saves.
They held up after Strome and Halmo battled behind the Manchester goal line in the third. Strome got the puck to Nick Larson in the right circle, who kicked the puck to his backhand and sniped it over Berube's blocker for the game-winner.
"(Sunday) was awesome," said Larson, who had two goals Saturday. "We weren't very happy with what happened (Saturday).
"We won individual battles. I thought that was the turning point, along the boards."
In the second, Strome's hard forecheck freed the puck for Halmo, who won a battle of his own along the left-wing boards and beat J.S. Berube short-side for a 1-0 lead.
Manchester took the lead in the third -- A.J. Gale's first AHL goal also beat Reiter short-side in the second, and Andy Andreoff scored on a second rebound -- but Strome fired a wrist shot off the crossbar and in to tie it 1:21 later.
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1. RYAN STROME, BRIDGEPORT: You know he's skilled, but when he's battling like that, look out.
2. MIKE HALMO, BRIDGEPORT: Won a couple of battles to set up two goals.
3. A.J. GALE, MANCHESTER: Scored his first AHL goal.
UNSUNG HERO: Kenny Reiter bounced back with 29 big saves for Bridgeport.
UP NEXT: Wednesday at Adirondack, 7 p.m.
-- MICHAEL FORNABAIO
Manchester 0 1 1--2
Bridgeport 0 1 2--3
First Period -- No scoring. Penalties -- Schultz, Mcr (holding), 2:02; Andreoff, Mcr (hooking), 2:42; Sabourin, Mcr (hooking), 4:53; Wiles, Bpt (high-sticking), 6:12; Campbell, Mcr (holding), 15:04.
Second Period -- 1, Bridgeport, Halmo 8, 7:57. 2, Manchester, Gale 1 (Czarnik, Forbort), 14:29. Penalties -- Keenan, Bpt (delay of game), 1:46; LoVerde, Mcr (holding), 14:43; Keenan, Bpt (interference), 19:41.
Third Period -- 3, Manchester, Andreoff 4 (LoVerde, Backman), 3:12. 4, Bridgeport, Strome 7 (Lee, Jackson), 4:33. 5, Bridgeport, Larson 4 (Halmo, Strome), 14:00. Penalties -- Lee, Bpt (hooking), 6:38; Langkow, Bpt (goaltender interference), 16:23.
Shots on goal -- Manchester 8-13-10--31. Bridgeport 11-15-8--32.
Power play opportunities -- Manchester 0 of 5, Bridgeport 0 of 5.
Goaltenders -- Manchester, Berube 6-3-1 (32 shots-29 saves). Bridgeport, Reiter 3-3-2 (31-29).
Attendance -- 3,334. Referees -- Luxmore, Hanson. Linesmen -- Wahl, Briggs.