Sound Tigers Notebook: Nilsson makes long-awaited return
by Christian Arnold/Correspondent
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers got a familiar face back in net this weekend. Anders Nilsson – who had to miss the beginning of this year due to illness -- made his first start since having his 2011-12 season cut short by an ankle sprain.
The 22-year-old Swedish goaltender helped backstop the Sound Tiger to two wins: a 5-2 victory over the Manchester Monarchs and a 4-3, come-from-behind win over the Connecticut Whale.
During Friday night’s win over the Monarchs, Nilsson stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced and was lauded by head coach Scott Pellerin, who called him efficient.
“"He made big saves when we needed him to,” he told the Connecticut Post after Friday’s game. “We missed some coverages in front. Other than that, he moved the puck well, played it well on the breakout.”
Sunday afternoon’s performance against the Whale hit a rough patch to start off. The Sound Tiger goalie gave up three first period goals, one of which came 28 seconds into the game, on just nine shots. Nilsson rebounded, stonewalling the Whale through the next two periods, stopping the 10 shots he faced and finishing the game with 16 saves off 19 total shots.
Nilsson is another one of the New York Islanders highly-touted goaltending prospects. Last season he appeared in 25 games for the Sound Tigers, going 15-8-2 with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.
He also played in four games for the Islanders. He went 1-2, but did have several impressive performances despite the record. His first NHL victory came in the form of a shutout against the New Jersey Devils on March 4.
-The Sound Tigers are now 8-3 through 11 games this season, which puts them fourth in the Eastern Conference and second in the Northeast Division.
- Brock Nelson and Nino Niederreiter are ranked ninth and 10th respectively in the AHL in scoring. Both players have a stat line of 7-6-13. They also both lead the Sound Tigers in scoring as well.
- Webster Bank Arena installed a brand new state-of-the-art scoreboard this past week. The new scoreboard is 30x16 feet, with six-millimeter pixels and has a Sony HD system.
Player of the Week
The Player of the Week for the Sound Tigers is forward Nino Niederreiter. The 22-year-old Swiss winger has scored in two of the last three games for Bridgeport and, as previously mentioned, is in the top ten in scoring in the AHL. He also had an assist on Travis Hamonic’s game-tying goal on Sunday. Through three games, Niederrieter has four points.
The Week Ahead
The Sound Tigers will get some R&R this week and then get back to work on Friday night when they travel to play the Wilkes-Berre/Scranton Penguins. They return home the following night to host the Worcester Sharks and then head up to Providence to take on the Bruins.