BRIDGEPORT 5, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 4 (OT)
Sean Bentivoglio scored from the left point at 9:48 of overtime to complete a furious comeback and give Bridgeport a 5-4 road win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday at the Wachovia Arena.
Instead of a daunting 3-0 deficit, the Sound Tigers now head back to Bridgeport trailing the East Division semifinal, 2-1. Game 4 will be at the Arena at Harbor Yard on Wednesday night, with Game 5 back in Wilkes-Barre on Friday.
Trailing 4-2 in the game and staring down at a 3-0 series deficit from which only two AHL teams have ever recovered, the Sound Tigers received third-period tallies from Jon Sim (11:51) – his second of the night – and defenseman Joe Callahan (15:46) to send the game to overtime.
After Sim gave Bridgeport a 1-0 first-period lead, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton erupted for four goals in the middle frame. Jean-Michel Daoust set a team playoff record by registering four points (2-2-4) in the stanza, and the Pens also got goals from Jeff Taffe and Chris Minard.
Defenseman Andrew MacDonald brought Bridgeport within 4-2 before the period was out, setting up the Sound Tigers’ rally in the third frame.
Sound Tigers goaltender Peter Mannino made 31 saves to pick up the win in his AHL playoff debut.
Sunday marked the teams’ 10th overtime tilt in 17 lifetime playoff clashes and the 15th one-goal game. The road team has won 12 of the last 14 postseason contests between these teams, including all three so far this year.