PIRATES 3, SOUND TIGERS 1
The Sound Tigers dropped their second straight decision in Portland, falling to the Pirates 3-1 on Saturday night at Cross Insurance Arena.
The Pirates fired the first 11 shots on net, but Mike Halmo attempted to give Bridgeport a lift with a scrap against Sena Acolatse. Both received five minutes for fighting, but the fight had the opposite result.
30 seconds after the fight, Carter Verhaeghe was sent to the box for cross-checking. Portland wasted no time scoring, as Rob Schremp ripped a shot over the glove of Christopher Gibson for a power play goal to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. Schremp’s 15th of the year increased his team lead in points to 31.
Bridgeport had just eight shots in the second period, but plenty of chances to tie the game. The best chance came midway through the second period, with Patrick Cullity faking a shot and finding a wide-open Taylor Beck. The puck rolled off Beck’s stick and went wide of the net, keeping the game at 1-0.
Portland scored another goal late in a period, this time with five minutes left in the second. The Pirates skated into the Sound Tigers’ zone 2-on-1, with Greg McKegg finding Garrett Wilson in front of the cage. Wilson went forehand-backhand around Gibson and made it a 2-0 lead for the Pirates.
The Sound Tigers had a couple more chances late in the second period, but still could not convert. With about a minute left in the period, Justin Vaive got a breakaway on Mike McKenna, but a Portland defender and McKenna forced Vaive into a tough shot and kept the Pirates lead at two.
Portland increased its lead five minutes into the third period. Dylan Olsen’s point shot eluded everyone in front of the net and beat Gibson to make it a 3-0 hockey game. Olsen’s second of the season was assisted by Chase Balisy.
Bridgeport broke McKenna’s shutout streak with exactly 10 minutes left in the third period. Beck found Bracken Kearns in front of the net, who beat McKenna short side and made it 3-1. Verhaeghe also picked up an assist on the play, giving him a four-game point streak.
Verhaeghe had a chance to cut the deficit to one only a couple minutes later as the Sound Tigers kept pouring on the pressure. Verhaeghe made a great move to the front of the net, but just missed high of an empty cage and the score remained 3-1. The Sound Tigers had several more quality chances, but could not beat McKenna for the rest of the game.
Gibson stopped 25 shots in the loss while McKenna was credited with 21 saves in the win. Bridgeport’s power play went 0-for-2 while the kill was 2-for-3.
The Sound Tigers make the trip home tonight before taking on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. for Military Appreciation Night at Webster Bank Arena.
Verhaeghe – Kearns – Beck
Vaive – Wright – Collberg
Florek – Holmstrom – Halmo
Gomes – Jones – Markison
Czuczman – Leduc
Burroughs – Pulock
Cullity – Graham