PIRATES 2, SOUND TIGERS 1
After Bridgeport held the lead for 59:00, Portland scored two goals in ten seconds to hand the Sound Tigers a stunning 2-1 defeat Saturday night at Webster Bank Arena.
Their third-straight loss overshadowed what was a brilliant game for Sound Tigers goalie Stephon Williams who finished with 31 saves on 33 shots.
After a missed power play opportunity, Williams stood tall to keep the game tied at zero halfway through the first period. After sprawling to clear the puck, he didn’t flinch to block a Greg McKegg backhand shot. Minutes later Williams made another huge save when Michael Matheson fired a wrister from the edge of the left faceoff circle.
Williams’ stellar play continued when he made the stop with his shoulder on Kyle Rau’s one-timer from right in front of the net. Then at just over a minute to go he made a brilliant sprawling save with the right blocker on a Rob Flick wrister. He finished the first period with 13 saves on 13 Portland shots.
The Sound Tigers had their best chance at a goal early in the second period. Skating down the right side, Taylor Beck fired the puck from the corner across the ice to Alan Quine who narrowly missed with his one-timer. Just minutes later on a power play, Ryan Pulock nearly broke the tie when he ripped a slapshot from the blueline.
Williams stood on his head with just over 10:00 gone in the second when the Pirates turned up the pressure. He made a beautiful glove save on a two-on-one opportunity for Portland when Garrett Wilson sent a wrister his way from the left side. Just seconds later, a rebound fell to Wilson right in the slot but he still couldn’t get it past the Sound Tigers netminder.
The Sound Tigers broke the tie with beautiful puck movement on their fourth power play of the night. Jesse Graham cycled the puck across to Sebastian Collberg who found Bracken Kearns cutting in from the right corner. Kearns controlled the puck and sent a wicked wrister past Pirates goalie Sam Brittain. The goal was Kearns’ 11th of the season, which leads the team.
With 5:00 gone in the final period, Alan Quine looked to double the Sound Tigers lead but just barely missed on a cross ice pass to a cutting Beck. As the final seconds ticked down on their fifth power play of the night, Joe Whitney had a chance but couldn’t break through on a slapshot from the faceoff circle.
After pulling the goaliem, the Pirates were able to break through with just under a minute left in the final period. Kyle Rau put away a rebound after a slapshot from the blueline for his ninth goal of the season. Ten short seconds later the Pirates gave themselves the lead 2-1, on a goal from John McFarland. McFarland skated down the zone and dangled the puck around Williams for his sixth goal of the season.
Portland would hold onto the lead to drop the Sound Tigers to 14-9-1-0 on the season.
Bridgeport will look to bounce back when they take on in-state rival Hartford Wolf Pack at Webster Bank Arena on Saturday, December 6 at 5:00 p.m.
Whitney – Kearns – Collberg
Vaive – Quine – Beck
Johnston – Holmstrom – Florek
Gomes – Jones – Halmo
Pelech – Mayfield
Czuczman – Pulock
Graham – Leduc