PORTLAND - The Portland Pirates got back to their winning ways to defeat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-1 at the Cumberland County Civic Center Saturday night. Pirates' starter Mark Visentin earned his fifth consecutive win, allowing only four goals in that span.
The game started with fireworks, as Joel Rechlicz and Brett Gallant dropped the gloves just 2:15 into the contest. The Pirates' captain capitalized on the momentum, as Alexandre Bolduc stepped into a slap shot that beat Sound Tigers' goaltender Anders Nilsson for his 16th goal of the year 7:37 into the first. Following another fight between the Pirates' Darian Dziurzynski and Bridgeport's Nathan McIver, Portland added to their lead. Bridgeport forward Brandon DeFazio was sent off for hooking at 14:01, and on the ensuing power play Andy Miele took advantage. Miele flipped the puck over a sprawling Nilsson for his 11th goal of the season to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead at 15:29. The Sound Tigers would pull within one before heading to the locker room. Seconds after being denied on a breakaway, Blair Riley picked up a loose puck and beat Visentin for his first of the year at 19:09.
John Landry would get his stick in the face of Brendan Shinnimin on a scramble in front to put the Pirates on their second power play at 5:19 of the second period. Portland was unable to capitalize, as Nilsson was only forced to make two of his total 36 saves on the power play chance. Tempers would flare slightly near the end of the second, as Johan Sundstrum took exception to a Chris Summers hit, and the two would exchange words before being sent off for matching unsportsmanlike conduct penalties at 17:03.
The Pirates started the third period with a full two minute power play, as a result of another unsportsmanlike call to Bridgeport. This time it would be McIver receiving the penalty for his actions at the end of the second. The Pirates would fail to score on the power play and would once again rely on Visentin to preserve the lead. The rookie goaltender came through again, stopping 39 of 40 shots for the game.
The Pirates improve to 20-12-1-1, while Mark Visentin is now 8-6-1-1. Visentin has won his last 5 starts, allowing only 4 goals, and has stopped 86 of 88 shots in his last two games. The Sound Tigers fall to 17-14-1-2, with Anders Nilsson dropping to 7-8-0-1.
The Pirates return to action Tuesday night when they face the Worcester Sharks! Face off will be at 7 PM.