The Portland Pirates received goals from five different players as they won their first game of the season in Bridgeport with a 5-3 win over the Sound Tigers in front 2,044 at the Arena at Harbor Yard on Wednesday night.
Entering the night, the home team has won every game in the season series. Portland, in general, hadn’t had great success in Bridgeport with a 7-9-1 record in their last 17 games.
Bridgeport held a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period on an inopportune break for the Pirates late into the period.
Mark Katic was credited with the goal after his shot went off Pirates’ defender Tim Conboy’s stick and into the net with 5:02 to go in the first.
In the second period, both teams combined four goals in a span of less than five minutes as Portland held a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.
With Bridgeport captain Mark Wotton in the box for goaltending interference, Paul Byron evened the game at 1-1 with his 12th goal of the season as he scooped up his own rebound and whistled a shot by Sound Tigers goalie Mikko Koskinen at the 7:11 mark of the period. Marc-Andre Gragnani and Mark Mancari assisted on the play.
At 8:43, the Pirates held their first lead of the night after Max Legault took a pass from Gragnani, shaking off a defender and sending a quick wrister by Koskinen from the slot.
A minutes later, Bridgeport bounced back to tie the game at 2-2 on Brandon Svendsen unassisted goal.
At 12:06, Justin Bowers capped off the scoring with his second goal of the season since being recalled by the Pirates from Greenville when fired a low shot off the glove of Koskinen to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead.
The Pirates added two more goals in the third period to grab a 5-2 lead.
Bowers added his second point of the night with an assist when he dished the puck off to TJ Brennan, who blasted a shot by Koskinen at 11:19 of the third period.
At 13:55, Mark Mancari sent a rocket from the point, beating Koskinen to end his night in favor of Joel Martin.
Koskinen made 36 saves on 41 shots in the loss.
The Pirates allowed a late power play goal for the fourth straight game as Wotton scored for the Sound Tigers off a bank shot by Enroth with 1:33 to play in the game.
Enroth made 32 saves to improve to 10-10-1 on the season.
Bowers and Mancari ended the night with a goal and assist each, and Gragnani posted three assists as the Pirates stopped a three-game winless streak.
The Pirates finished the night 2-for-4 on the power play, while Bridgeport was 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
NOTES: Byron’s goal in the second period extended his point-scoring streak to five games… TJ Brennan played the game at forward for the time in his career… The Pirates are home this weekend with games on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, It’s Camp Bow Wow Adopt-a-Dog Night. If a fan brings unopened dog food or toy items, or a clothing item to benefit Goodwill, they receive two free tickets to the February 16th game against Providence. Saturday is Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Night when they face off against Manchester. All cash donations of $5 or more to the CF Foundation of Northern New England will be rewarded with two free tickets to the February 16th game against Providence.