BOX SCORE - PIRATES 5, SOUND TIGERS 3

PORTLAND, ME (March 17, 2012) –
The Portland Pirates erased a two-goal deficit with three quick goals late in the first period and held off a late charge from the Sound Tigers as Bridgeport fell 5-3 in Portland on Saturday night. With the win, the Pirates improve to 29-28-3-3. The Sound Tigers have lost three straight games in regulation and fall to 32-22-3-5.

Greenwich native Sean Backman gave the Sound Tigers the lead just 30 seconds into the game. After Trevor Frischmon was stopped on the rush, Backman whipped around the back of the net and beat Portland netminder Peter Mannino to the left post on a wraparound for his fifth goal of the season to put the Sound Tigers up 1-0. That same line would combine to push the Sound Tigers lead to two at 8:44 of the opening frame. Backman slid the puck up to Matt Donovan above the left circle, and Trevor Frischmon deflected Donovan’s blast past Mannino to give the Sound Tigers a 2-0 lead.

However, Portland would respond with three consecutive goals in the second half of the period to take the lead. Ashton Rome poked the puck around a Sound Tigers defenseman, fired from the left circle and beat goaltender Anders Nilsson to cut the Portland deficit to one at 14:13 of the period. Just 1:58 later, the Pirates tied the game after Alexandre Bolduc broke in on Nilsson after he appeared to trip Calvin de Haan. Bolduc’s attempt was stopped, but Brett MacLean buried the rebound to tie the game at two. The Pirates grabbed the lead at 18:26 of the opening frame when Ethan Werek deflected David Rundblad’s point shot past Nilsson, and Portland led 3-2 after the first period.

Blair Riley evened the score just 2:22 into the second period. Riley broke in on Mannino and had his initial shot stopped, but banged away at the rebound and put it home for his fourth goal of the season to tie the game at three. However, Portland would respond just as a 4-on-4 ended midway through the period. Andy Miele gathered a bouncing puck, moved past a Sound Tigers defenseman and backhanded a shot past Nilsson for a shorthanded goal to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead, a score that held up into the third period.

The Sound Tigers applied plenty of pressure to the Pirates in the final 20 minutes and had opportunities in the final moments to tie the score, but Mannino made key saves and Brett Hextall closed out the scoring with an empty-netter at 19:47 of the third period.

The Sound Tigers conclude their weekend tomorrow afternoon when they make their final visit of the season to DCU Center in Worcester to face the Sharks at 3:00 p.m.

FORWARD LINES
McNeely – Marcinko – Rakhshani
Haley – Romano – Howes
DiBenedetto – Frischmon – Backman
Riley – Cox – Oleksy

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Donovan – Sinkewich
Landry – Ness
de Haan – Wishart

GOALTENDERS
Nilsson
Poulin