BRIDGEPORT, Conn – Five different players recorded goals and Marc-Andre Gragnani chipped in with three assists as the Portland Pirates defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5-3 at the Arena at Harbor Yard on Wednesday night. With the win, Portland improves to 19-11-4-1. The Sound Tigers fall to 18-16-1-2 following their second straight loss.
The Sound Tigers scored the only goal of the first period courtesy of a fortunate bounce. Brandon Svendsen freed the puck to Mark Katic at the point who fired a shot towards Jhonas Enroth. The shot appeared to be going wide, but deflected off of Portland defenseman Tim Conboy and past the Pirates netminder. It was Katic’s first goal of the season at 14:58 of the opening period, and the Sound Tigers lead 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.
The second period was vastly different and Portland responded after a quiet first. Paul Byron’s power play tally at 7:11 of the period tied the game 1-1, and Maxime Legault snapped a shot past Mikko Koskinen just 1:32 later to give Portland a 2-1 lead. The Sound Tigers answered just 1:01 later when Brandon Svendsen would notch his second point of the night. Rob Hisey forced a turnover by the Portland blue line, allowing Svendsen to skate in all alone on Enroth. Svendsen made a move to his forehand and his shot trickled across the blue line to tie the score 2-2 midway through the game. However, Portland would retake the lead for good at the 12:06 mark. Justin Bowers netted his second goal of the season to put the Pirates ahead 3-2 and they would never look back.
T.J. Brennan would increase the lead to two with his fourth goal of the season coming at 11:55 of the third. Mark Mancari gave the Pirates a 5-3 lead with a slap shot on the power play with just over six minutes left in the game, chasing Mikko Koskinen in favor of Joel Martin. Mark Wotton would bank in a shot from beneath the goal line with 1:33 left to cut the lead to two, but the Sound Tigers drew no closer despite pulling Martin from the net and Portland came away with a 5-3 win.
Mikko Koskinen suffered the loss for the Sound Tigers despite making 36 saves and drops to 5-9-0. Jhonas Enroth made 32 saves to earn his 10th win of the season.
The Sound Tigers look to snap their two-game losing streak on Friday when they travel to the Mohegan Sun Arena to take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 7:00 p.m.
DiBenedetto – Colliton – Rakhshani
Hisey – Ullstrom – Svendsen
Haley – Marcinko – Figren
Bourbeau – Romano – Labelle
Kohn – Wotton
Katic – Wishart
O’Neill - Klementyev