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Sound Tigers 5 (EN), Connecticut Whale 2: Nino with a pair

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers rode a big night from their second line to beat the Connecticut Whale in the first leg of a home-and-home series.

Last year this time, it was Sweden in the WJC. This year it's a three-point night for Bridgeport.
Last year this time, it was Sweden in the WJC. This year it's a three-point night for Bridgeport.
Richard Wolowicz

Nino Niederreiter scored two goals, then left the game after taking a stick to the face.

His new linemate David Ullstrom stuck around for the whole 60 minutes and capped a four-point night with an empty-net goal at 59:59. That one finished a 5-2 win and a big night for the new line of Niederreiter (two goals), Ullstrom (one goal, three assists) and centerman Johan Sundstrom (three assists).

A good sign for New York Islanders depth is that every time someone on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers goes down (Brock Nelson is still out), someone else steps up and makes their own case for Future Islander to Watch. To be sure, Sundström has been earning glowing reviews most of the season, but it's nice to see him connect on a new line with last year's starlet and this one's.

Kevin Poulin took a shutout into the third period, though that required only 13 saves in the first two frames. For a moment, the Connecticut Whale made it interesting, or at least uncomfortable, with two goals early in the third period. But that was the end of their push.

Casey Cizikas also had a couple of assists (including, naturally, Ullström's goal in the final minute of play). Nathan McIver handed it to old friend Micheal Haley pretty good.

Niederreiter, by the way, is to be evaluated tomorrow.

(Updated) Links/Coverage

Highlights and further links later (but no doubt the McIver-Haley tilt will appear here).

Full Highlights via SoundTigers YouTube

Pellerin's Post-Game via SoundTigers on YouTube:

These two teams are back at it for the second leg in Hartford tomorrow.