04/19/2013 10:00 PM
The Portland Pirates clinched a playoff spot in style, defeating the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3-1 Friday at the Civic Center. Chris Brown led the way with a three point night for the Pirates.
Pirates’ starter Mark Visentin had to be strong early, as the Sound Tigers jumped out to a 9-0 shots advantage. It was not until Blair Riley was sent to the box for a hooking call at 9:29 that the Pirates got their first shot on goal. The shot came a just over 11 minutes into the first period; However the Pirates could not capitalize on the power play. Portland went back to the power play about a minute after the first one expired. Once again, they only mustered one shot on Bridgeport starter Rick DiPietro, and fail to score. The Sound Tigers ended the period with a 11-4 advantage in shots.
The Pirates had a better start to the second period, jumping out to a 5-2 advantage in shots to start the period. Portland went back to work on the power play early in the second, thanks to a cross checking call to Matt Donovan just 38 seconds into the period. DiPietro and the Sound Tigers penalty kill once again stymied the Pirates. DiPietro followed the strong penalty kill with a pair of nice stops on Lucas Lessio, robbing the Pirates forward on an initial shot and rebound chance in front of the net. The Sound Tigers were unable to convert on a pair of power play chances of their own in the second. It appeared Donovan had put Bridgeport on the board, but the goal was waved off because of a player in the crease.
Evan Brophey put the Pirates on the board just 58 seconds into the third. Brophey took a pass from Chris Brown and snuck in behind the Sound Tigers defense, beating DiPietro with a backhand shot over his shoulder. The Sound Tigers answered at the 7:02 mark of the 3rd. Ryan Strome sent a low shot through a screen to beat Visentin five hole and tie the game at one. Brown took over for the Pirates. After a loose puck made its way out of the Pirates zone, Brown picked it up for 2 on 1 chance, electing to shoot and beating DiPietro low on his blocker side. Brown put an exclamation point on his night and sealed the victory for the Pirates with an empty net goal at 19:45. The goal was Brown’s team leading 29th of the season.
The Pirates improve to 40-29-3-2, while Mark Visentin improves to 15-12-1. With the win, the Pirates clinched a playoff berth for the 15th time in team history, and first time since 2010-11.
The Pirates get back to action tomorrow night when they host the Connecticut Whale for the regular season finale at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Puck drop is set for 7 PM.Saturday’sgame can be heard on WPEI 95.5 and 95.9, and online on portlandpiratesradio.com and AHL Live, with the pregame show starting at 6:40 with Jeff Mannix.
Tickets are still available by calling (207) 828-4665 ext. 350 or online at ticketmaster.com
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