Derek Bekar scored on Bridgeport’s first shot of overtime to give the Sound Tigers a wild 5-4 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Game 1 of the East Division semifinals on Thursday night.
The Penguins scored three times in the third period to tie the score and had dominated play in overtime before Bekar converted on a 2-on-1 rush at the 11:11 mark of the extra session. It was Bekar’s second goal of the game.
Bridgeport, which allowed a league-record 140 goals in the 80-game regular season, coughed up leads of 3-1 and 4-3 in the final 10 minutes of regulation. Toby Petersen, Matt Murley and Eric Meloche recorded a goal and an assist each for Wilkes-Barre, with Petersen forcing OT with just 1:23 showing on the clock.
Fresh off winning the Willie Marshall Award as the AHL’s leading goal-scorer in the regular season, Jeff Hamilton potted a pair for the Sound Tigers, and Alan Letang chipped in a goal and an assist.
Seven of the teams’ nine meetings this season have been decided by one goal, including four in overtime. Game 2 is back at the Arena at Harbor Yard on Saturday night.