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Pirates 2, Sound Tigers 1 (OT)

by Jamie Palatini / New York Islanders

PORTLAND, Me. (Dec. 11, 2012)
– Portland defenseman David Rundblad scored on the power play with 1:46 left in overtime to give the Pirates a 2-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Tuesday night. With the win, Portland improves to 12-10-0-1. The Sound Tigers earn a point with the overtime loss, as their record moves to 11-11-1-1.

The Sound Tigers dictated much of the play in the opening period, working the puck deep in the Portland zone for extended stretches of time. However, Portland goaltender Chad Johnson turned aside all of the Sound Tigers 10 shots in the first period. Sound Tigers goaltender Anders Nilsson matched his counterpart, stopping six shots as the game remained scoreless after 20 minutes.

Neither goaltender was tested much in the second period. The Sound Tigers earned a power play early in the period when Portland’s Maxim Goncharov was called for high-sticking, and the visitors held the puck in the Pirates zone for the majority of the two minutes. However, the Sound Tigers were unable to to solve Johnson, and the game remained scoreless. Nilsson made a few big saves of his own during a Portland power play late in the middle period, and the game stayed even heading into the third period.

Portland took the lead on the power play 5:34 into the third period. Anders Nilsson made the initial save on a point shot and was knocked down in traffic in front of his crease. Alexandre Bolduc gathered the loose change and fired into the open net to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

The Sound Tigers responded with their own power play goal at 8:25 of the third period. Colin McDonald fired a shot on the rush from the right circle that was initially stopped by Johnson. Nino Niederreiter grabbed the rebound and scored for his 12th goal of the season to even the score.

Bridgeport was shorthanded for the majority of the final four minutes of play. Marc Cantin was called for hooking with 34 seconds left in regulation, but the Sound Tigers killed off his penalty and appeared to be headed into the Portland zone on an odd-man rush when Brock Nelson took the puck from a Pirates defenseman. However, Nelson was called for high-sticking on the play, giving the Pirates a second chance on the man-advantage in overtime that they did not squander. Rundblad finally solved Nilsson with just five seconds left in the Portland power play, sending a shot from the slot through a screen past Nilsson’s blocker.

Nilsson made 25 saves in the overtime loss, while Johnson made 28 saves to pick up the win.

The Sound Tigers continue their road trip on Friday when they open up a two-game set in Norfolk against the Admirals at 7:30 p.m.

Notes: The Sound Tigers were 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Pirates were 2-for-5 … Neither team scored an even-strength goal … The overtime loss was the first time the Sound Tigers had lost in overtime on the road since Nov. 18, 2011 in Hartford against the Whale.

Three Stars
1. POR – David Rundblad
2. POR – Alexandre Bolduc
3. POR – Chad Johnson

Bridgeport Sound Tigers
22 Nino Niederreiter – 29 Brock Nelson – 13 Colin McDonald
23 John Persson – 28 Johan Sundstrom – 17 Max MacKay
16 Sean Backman – 11 Casey Cizikas – 20 Blair Riley
44 Brett Gallant – 14 Matt Watkins – 40 Mike Halmo

46 Matt Donovan – 6 Ty Wishart
15 Marc Cantin – 7 Jon Landry
27 Aaron Ness – 8 Nathan McIver

45 Anders Nilsson (starter)
38 Kevin Poulin

Portland Pirates
14 Chris Conner – 21 Andy Miele – 24 Brett Hextall
8 Ethan Werek – 49 Alexandre Bolduc – 11 Chris Brown
26 Darian Dziurzynski – 16 Brendan Shinnimin – 12 Rob Klinkhammer
22 Phil Lane – 10 Jordan Szwarz – 19 Joel Rechlicz

23 Oliver Ekman-Larsson – 3 Maxim Goncharov
5 Chris Summers – 2 David Rundblad
36 Brandon Gormley – 33 Mark Louis

30 Chad Johnson (starter)
29 Mark Visentin
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