PORTLAND, ME – Tyler Ennis had two goals and two assists and Mark Mancari added four assists to lead the Portland Pirates to a 4-3 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Saturday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The loss snapped the Sound Tigers streak of five straight games with a point.
The Pirates jumped out to an early lead as Ennis scored his 10th goal of the season just 25 seconds into the game. TJ Brennan stole the puck in the neutral zone and fed it ahead to Mark Mancari. Mancari and Ennis broke in on a 2-on-1 and Mancari fed the puck through the slot to Ennis who re-directed it past Nathan Lawson and into the net.
The teams exchanged scoring chances midway through the second period. Pirates goaltender J.P. Lamoureux made a glove save on a shorthanded breakaway by Tyler Haskins. Moments later, Lawson stopped a point blank shot from Kyle Rank.
Marc Andre Gragnani made it 2-0 Portland with 7:20 left in the second period. As the Pirates cycled the puck on a 5-on-3 power-play, Ennis held the puck behind the net and found Gragnani in the slot who one-timed a shot past Lawson for his third goal of the season.
The Sound Tigers cut their deficit to one with 4:46 left in the second period when Mark Katic tallied his third goal of the year. Matt Martin hit Katic with a pass in the left face-off circle and he snapped a shot over Lamoureux and into the net.
Bridgeport scored two goals early in the third period to take the lead. Mark Wotton tied the game at the 2:29 mark, blasting a shot from the right point past Lamoureux for his second goal of the year. Sean Bentivoglio gave the Sound Tigers the lead one minute later, taking a pass from Haskins and blasting a shot from the slot into the back of the net.
Brad Larsen tied the game at three at the 9:09 mark. Ennis fired a shot that Lawson turned aside, but Larsen was right in front of the net to bat the rebound out of mid-air and into the goal.
Ennis scored the game-winning goal with 3:27 left. Larsen again fired the first shot on goal. Lawson stopped the shot but the rebound bounced to Ennis who fired it into the back of the goal for his 11th tally of the season.
Portland finished the game with a 38-19 shots on goal advantage. Lawson made 34 saves in the loss while Lamoureux stopped 16 shots to earn the victory.
The Sound Tigers are back on home ice Sunday afternoon as they host the Springfield Falcons at 4:00 pm at the Arena at Harbor Yard. The game will feature the annual Teddy Bear Toss. All fans are asked to bring a stuffed animal to the game to donate to local childrens hospitals for the holiday season. For tickets, please call TicketMaster at 1-800-745-3000 or log onto www.soundtigers.com