Bridgeport, CT – For the fourth time this season, the Pirates and Sound Tigers played a one goal game. This time though, Bridgeport emerged victorious by a score of 2-1. Jhonas Enroth made 26 saves for the Pirates in the loss.
The first period was reminiscent of last weekend as Portland and Bridgeport remained scoreless after 20 minutes. The opening session was highlighted by a pair of penalty shot attempts, one for each team. Derek Whitmore was hauled down on a breakaway and got a chance against Nathan Lawson. Whitmore deked and shot on the forehand, but Lawson made the stop to keep the game scoreless. Later in the first Jeremy Colliton was tripped on a breakaway by Zach Tarkir. Colliton deked to the left side on his penalty shot attempt and Jhonas Enroth made the save. After one period of play, Enroth had eight saves while Lawson had racked up seven.
In the second frame, Bridgeport got onto the board first when Vladimir Nikiforov skated down the left wing and stick handled in towards the slot to find open space. Nikiforov created that space and put a wrist shot into the top right corner over the glove of Jhonas Enroth to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead. Nikiforov’s first goal of the season was assisted by Jack Hillen and Sean Bentivoglio at the 6:57 mark of the second period. It was the lone goal of the period, as the Sound Tigers took a 1-0 lead into the third.
The Pirates tied the game on a power play goal from Mathieu Darche a few minutes into the third period. It took the Pirates just 11 seconds of power play time as Mark Mancari blasted a slap shot from the left point. Lawson made the initial save but Darche was on the doorstep and scored on the rebound. Darche’s 15th goal of the season was assisted by Mancari and Tim Kennedy at the 3:25 mark of the third period. Bridgeport and Portland fought to the final minutes of the game tied at 1, but the Sound Tigers stole the game away in the waning seconds. Ben Walter cut into the slot stickhandling and beat Jhonas Enroth on a wrist shot at 19:45 of the third period. Jeremy Colliton got the only assist on Walter’s 11th goal of the year. The Sound Tigers hung on for the 2-1 win.
Portland goaltender Jhonas Enroth stopped 26 of 28 shots he faced but took the loss, dropping to 18-12-2 on the season. Nathan Lawson picked up the win to improve to 11-5-0 by stopping 26 of 27 Pirates shots.