Kowalsky Gets 200th Win In Come-From-Behind Fashion
ALBANY, NY — Brian O’Neill tied the game with 49 seconds remaining and Reece Scarlett netted the winner 1:56 into overtime elevating the Albany Devils to a 3-2 victory against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Sunday at Times Union Center.
Not only was the victory the team’s third in as many games, but it was also Head Coach Rick Kowalsky’s 200th career victory. As the winningest coach in franchise history, he owns a 200-172-61 record.
The win also ended Bridgeport’s eight-game winning streak.
Albany’s comeback started before O’Neill’s last-minute heroics. Scarlett and Matt Lorito setup Mike Sislo for his league-leading 14th power-play goal and team-leading 23rd tally while on a five-on-three at 5:08 of the third.
After killing off a crucial four-minute high sticking penalty and just before the final minute of play, Kowalsky pulled Yann Danis for the extra attacker. As the puck worked its way to the front of the net, Ryan Kujawinski kicked the puck to O’Neill, who beat netminder Christopher Gibson’s outstretched body.
In overtime, the Devils capitalized on an odd-man rush. Paul Thompson moved the puck ahead to Sislo. After gaining the blueline, he fed Scarlett near the left circle and he buried his third career game-winning goal.
Danis, who made 24 stops, registered his fourth consecutive win and 21st of the season. He entered the contest coming off back-to-back shutouts and his streak lasted until James Wright scored at 17:59 of the first period. The goal halted Danis’ run at 145 minutes and 47 seconds and the team’s streak at 141 minutes and 47 seconds.
Ben Holmstrom scored Bridgeport’s other tally at 9:24 of the second period. Gibson finished the game with 33 saves.
Albany, which has four wins in the last five games, improved to 29-13-7-0. Bridgeport moved to 27-19-3-1.
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The Devils will go almost a week until their next game when they travel to face the Utica Comets Saturday at 7 pm. Fans can follow the action online at ahllive.com or on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio.