03/05/2013 10:00 PM
The Portland Pirates scored three powerplay goals in the firstand Andy Miele netted the game winner in the sudden death shootout as the Pirates defeated the Connecticut Whale 4-3 on Tuesday night in Hartford. The victory puts the Pirates just 2 points back of the Providence Bruins for the Atlantic Division lead and 5 points clear of the Hershey Bears for 5th place in the Eastern Conference.
The power play was key to the first period, with all 4 first period goals coming with the man advantage. Brandon Gormley got the scoring started with the power play tally with 13:41 to go in the first, his 5th of the year. Chris Brown doubled the Pirates’ lead with the second power just after the halfway point of the first, with Gormley picking up an assist on Brown’s 19th of the season. Chris Kreider would cut the Pirates’ lead in half with a power play tally of his own at the 14:11 mark, but Chris Conner wouldgive the Pirates their second two goal advantage of the night on a power play tally with less than a second left in the first. The Pirates would carry their 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
After Jason Missiaen replaced Cam Talbot in goal Connecticut to start the second, Chris Kreider got the Whale closer with his second of the night just as Boris Valabik stepped out of the box for the game’s first even strength goal at the 8:02 mark of the second.
The third was fast paced and scoreless until the Whale pulled Missiaen. Brandon Segal got the equalizer for the Whale with 23 seconds to go and the extra attacker on, and the Pirates and Whale would finish regulation tied at 3.
After a scoreless overtime, the teams headed to a shootout. Portland would get goals from Evan Brophey and Rob Klinkhammer in rounds 1 and 5, while the Whale would get tallies from Segal and Brandon Mashinter in rounds 3 and 4. In the first sudden death frame, Chad Johnson would stop Nick Palmieri’s attempt and Andy Miele would beat Missiaen to win the game for Portland.
The Pirates improveto 33-20-1-2, and 8-3 in games that have gone beyond regulation. Chad Johnson picks up his 15th win for Portland for the 4th straight time in his AHL career.
The Pirates get back to action Friday night as they face the Manchester Monarchs in VIP Cup action, presented by VIP Parts, Tires & Service. With a win, the Pirates will clinch at least a tie for the VIP Cup. Puck drop is set for 7 PM at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The game can be heard on 95.5 and 95.9 WPEI in the Portland area, 92.7FM and 100.7 FM WOXO FM in the Lewiston/Auburn area, and online on the WLOB radio player and AHL Live.
Tickets are still available for all Pirates games by calling the Pirates office at (207) 828-4665 ext. 350 or online at ticketmaster.com.