PIRATES DEFEAT SOUND TIGERS 3-1
PORTLAND, Me. (April 19, 2013) – Sound Tigers forward Ryan Strome scored at 7:02 of the third period to tie the game at one, but Pirates forward Chris Brown scored the eventual game-winner with 8:23 left in regulation and added an empty-netter as Portland defeated Bridgeport 3-1 at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Friday night. With the win, the Pirates improve to 40-29-3-2. With the loss, the Sound Tigers fall to 31-31-7-5 overall and have been officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Neither team scored in the first period, but both squads had close calls firing shots off of posts. Portland’s Mathieu Brodeur sent a slap shot off of the iron during a Pirates power play, and Bridgeport’s Blair Riley also snapped a shot off of the left post midway through the period. The Sound Tigers outshot the Pirates 11-4 in the opening frame, but the two sides remained scoreless through 20 minutes.
The Sound Tigers appeared to take the lead midway through the second period on the power play when Matt Donovan sent a wrist shot through traffic past Portland goaltender Mark Visentin. However, referee Trent Knorr ruled that part of Brandon DeFazio’s skate was in the Portland crease, nullifying the go-ahead goal.
The Pirates broke the deadlock 58 seconds into the final period, when Evan Brophey skated in on goaltender Rick DiPietro and backhanded the puck home for his eighth goal of the season.
Strome brought the Sound Tigers even 6:04 later. Defenseman Andrey Pedan had his shot blocked in the left faceoff circle of the Portland zone, but Strome gathered the loose puck and fired through goaltender Mark Visentin’s legs for his second goal of the season to tie the game at one.
Brown netted the game-winner on a 2-on-1 after Matt Donovan was unable to corral a bouncing puck at the Portland blue line. Portland’s leading scorer gathered the deflected puck at the Sound Tigers blue line, skated towards the slot and fired over DiPietro’s blocker for his 28th goal of the season to give the Pirates the lead. Brown clinched the win for Portland at 19:45, flipping the puck from his blue line high in the air and into an empty Sound Tigers net to round out the scoring.
The Sound Tigers return to action tomorrow when they return to Webster Bank Arena to face the Providence Bruins at 7:00 p.m.
NOTES: DiPietro made 16 saves and falls to 9-9-0; the Sound Tigers outshot the Pirates 27-19, which was the lowest shot total allowed on the road by the Sound Tigers this season … The Sound Tigers finish the 2012-13 season with a 13-21-3-1 road record … Nathan McIver recorded two penalty minutes, and sits eight PIMs shy of Eric Godard’s single-season Sound Tigers record (295, 04-05) … Riley Wetmore signed an ATO prior to the game, agreed to an AHL deal for 2013-14 and played center with former UMass Lowell teammate Scott Campbell on his left wing … Quinnipiac defenseman Mike Dalhuisen and Cornell forward Greg Miller also agreed to AHL deals for 2013-14 earlier in the day, while Joey Diamond agreed to an entry-level contract for next season with the Islanders.
1. POR: Chris Brown
2. POR: Mark Visentin
3. BRI: Ryan Strome
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
23 John Persson – 29 Brock Nelson – 22 Nino Niederreiter
42 Brandon DeFazio – 18 Ryan Strome – 28 Johan Sundstrom
4 Scott Campbell – 2 Riley Wetmore – 20 Blair Riley (A)
16 Sean Backman – 72 Jason Clark – 77 Kirill Kabanov
46 Matt Donovan – 7 Jon Landry (A)
27 Aaron Ness – 10 Scott Mayfield
19 Andrey Pedan – 8 Nathan McIver (A)
39 Rick DiPietro (starter)
45 Anders Nilsson