Two quick goals in the first period by the Portland Pirates propelled them to a 6-3 win against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, extending their win streak to three games in front of 5,070 at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport on Sunday afternoon.
The win maintained the Pirates (69 points) distance behind Manchester Monarchs (72 points) at three points for the Atlantic Division lead after the Monarchs won today, 5-3, against the Springfield Falcons. The Pirates still hold four games in hand against the Monarchs.
It only took the Pirates 13 seconds to get on the board after Derek Whitmore converted on a turnover by Riley Gill from behind the net.
Before the first minute of the game was complete, the Pirates held a 2-0 lead when Gill allowed another goal after giving up a rebound to Mark Parrish, who flipped a backhander into the net only 41 seconds into the game.
That ended the night for Gill, who faced two shots, allowing two goals, in favor of Joel Martin.
At 5:19, Colin Stuart made it 3-0 for the Pirates with a shot from the bottom of the right circle as they looked in complete control of the game.
With the first period winding down, Mancari hauls down Rob Hisey as the Sound Tigers were awarded a penalty shot with only 1:11 left.
Jean Bourbeau would convert with a slap shot off the pads of Jhonas Enroth as the puck trickled into the net to cut into the Pirates lead, 3-1.
Marc-Andre Gragnani took a feed from Corey Tropp, firing a shot from top of the left circle that beat Martin at the 9:52 mark of the second period re-establishing the Pirates three-goal lead.
Bridgeport scored twice in a 15 second span to pull within a goal, 4-3, starting with Rob Hisey’s goal at 14:04 followed by Tomas Marcinko, who snapped a shot over the glove of Enroth at 14:19 of the second period.
Portland added a pair of third period goal to put the game out of reach.
At 5:49, defenseman TJ Brennan finds the back of the net, beating Martin through a screen, extending his point streak (3G, 3A) to three games.
With 3:42 left in the game, Corey Tropp scored from the right side of the net for his ninth of the season.
Enroth made 24 saves for the win to improve to 18-12-2-1 on the season, while Martin took the loss stopping 18 of 22 shots, coming in relief for Riley Gill in the first period.
NOTES: The Pirates were without their captain as Matt Ellis was scratched because of an undisclosed injury… The Pirates brought up Jacob Lagace from Greenville (S.C.) of the ECHL where he played 13 games, scoring six assists.