BRIDGEPORT, Conn - Three Portland goals in the opening 5:19 of regulation proved too much to overcome for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers as they fell to the Pirates 6-3 on Sunday afternoon at Webster Bank Arena. The Pirates improve to 32-15-4-1 overall. The Sound Tigers have lost nine in a row and fall to 19-28-3-3.
Goalie Riley Gill got his first career AHL start for the Sound Tigers, but it did not last long. Derek Whitmore scored just 13 seconds into the game as Gill was out of position behind his net, and Mark Parrish's goal 28 seconds later gave Portland a 2-0 lead before the crowd had settled in. Pat Bingham pulled Gill in favor of Martin just 41 seconds into the game, but Portland would continue to press and increased the lead to three on Colin Stuart's goal from the right circle at 5:19 of the first.
The Sound Tigers got on the board late in the first period when Jean Bourbeau was taken down on a shorthanded breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. The Bonnyville, Alta. native skated in on Jhonas Enroth and snapped a shot past Enroth for his second goal of the season, both of them shorthanded, and the Sound Tigers trailed 3-1 after the first period.
Marc-Andre Gragnani would push the Portland lead back to three with his ninth goal of the season at 9:52 of the second period. However, the Sound Tigers would strike with their own pair of quick goals to cut the Pirates lead to one. Rob Hisey took a pass from Robin Figren and lifted it over Enroth's right shoulder to make the score 4-2 at 14:04, and Tomas Marcinko followed that with his fourth goal of the year just 15 seconds later to make the score 4-3 headed to the final period.
That was as close as the Sound Tigers would get, as T.J. Brennan's one-timer from above the left circle beat Martin to give Portland a 5-3 advantage at 5:49 of the final period. Corey Tropp put the game away for Portland with a power play goal 16:18 and the Pirates came away with a 6-3 win.
Joel Martin took the loss after replacing Riley Gill and stopped 18 of 22 shots. Jhonas Enroth made 24 saves to earn the win.
The Sound Tigers return to action Wednesday night when they visit the Springfield Falcons at 7 p.m.