Springfield, Mass. – In one regard, the Portland Pirates have to be happy with earning a point after undergoing a makeover in goal, but they certainly will have a sour taste in their mouth after Cody Wild scored in overtime to give the Springfield Falcons a 4-3 win in front of 2,216 at MassMutual Center.
The Pirates were left without an experienced goaltender because Jhonas Enroth was recalled by the Buffalo Sabres on Monday after Ryan Miller suffered an ankle injury in Saturday’s game against the Rangers.
Late yesterday, Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen was able to bring in Kellen Briggs from the Ontario Reign of the ECHL, signing him to a PTO contract to give the team at least someone who has played professional hockey at ECHL level recently.
For the first 20 minutes or so, it didn’t look good for the Pirates as they gave up a 2-0 lead to the Falcons.
Just two minutes into the period, Ryan Potulny scored his 24th goal of the season, lifting a backhander over Briggs glove for the l-0 lead.
At 12:14, Gilbert Brule converted on a give-and-go play with Charles Linglet to beat Briggs with a low shot at the right post, giving the Falcons a 2-0 lead.
It was eighth shorthanded goal given up by the Pirates this season.
In the second period, the Falcons extended their lead to 3-0 when Shane Willis slammed home a backdoor pass from Taylor Chorney past Briggs for a power play goal at 2:07 of the period.
The Pirates started the comeback less than two minutes later when Mathieu Darche found the back of the net, beating Falcons’ goalie Dany Sabourin from the top of the crease, pulling the Pirates to within two goals, 3-1, at 3:57 of the second period.
At 13:41, the Pirates made it a one-goal game, 3-2, as Colton Fretter scored his 18th goal of the season as he connected on the one-timer from Darche, beating Sabourin under the crossbar.
Portland earned the point when Mark Mancari scored the tying goal only 36 seconds into the third period, firing a bullet by Sabourin to tie the game at 3-3. It was the Pirates second power play goal of the game.
In overtime, the Falcons took win, 4-3, after Cody Wild deked Briggs out of the play, sliding the puck past him into the net just 15 seconds into the period.
Briggs making his first AHL start made stopped 19 of 23 shots in the loss, while Dany Sabourin made 30 saves in the win for the Falcons.