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Pirates take victory away from Sound Tigers

Updated 12:26 am, Wednesday, April 17, 2013
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BRIDGEPORT -- Two points were theirs. They gave one back. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers needed wins but got just an overtime loss Tuesday.

Leading by two with three minutes to play after a Matt Donovan goal, the Sound Tigers lost 5-4 to the Portland Pirates at Webster Bank Arena on Chris Brown's second goal, 26 seconds into overtime.

"When Dono scored that goal, obviously we were in control of the game," Bridgeport coach Scott Pellerin said. "We knew they were going to put a pressure on. We talked to the guys about finishing strong, making them go 200 feet."

A turnover, a goal off a rebound, another turnover, and the Pirates walked away with a win the Sound Tigers needed.

Bridgeport is five points out of playoff position with three games remaining. When the teams meet again Friday in Maine, Bridgeport will need at least a point and lots of help to keep its playoff hopes alive.

"We've got to close games. We've got to make strong plays," said forward David Ullstrom, who had the puck knocked away in overtime to set up Brown's winner. "That's it."

Attendance was 3,469 for a game rescheduled from Feb. 9 by the blizzard of the day before.

Portland had lost four in a row and looked destined for a fifth when Donovan scored off Ullstrom's pass with 4:05 to go, tacking onto a lead Bridgeport took on Nino Niederreiter's 28th of the year.

But the Pirates got one back with 2:43 remaining. Andy Miele took the puck away from Blair Riley and fed Jordan Martinook behind the net. Martinook made a flashy pass to the front to Brett Hextall -- whose father, former NHL goalie and Los Angeles Kings assistant general manager Ron, was in attendance -- to cut it to 4-3.

With goalie Mark Visentin pulled for an extra attacker, Rick DiPietro got a piece of Troy Bodie's right-wing shot, but it sat in the crease for Lucas Lessio to tap in the rebound with 58.9 seconds left.

"We had the right guys out at the end of the game to protect a lead," Pellerin said. "Like I tell my guys, get pucks to the net, and things are going to happen. We weren't able to protect the weak side. They scored."

Bridgeport, without injured captain Matt Watkins and forward Joey Diamond and without defenseman Jon Landry for a family matter, fell behind on Brown's power-play goal in the first.

Ty Wishart tied it on a goal that bounced in off Portland defender Mathieu Brodeur -- rookie defenseman Andrey Pedan got his first pro assist -- and Ullstrom gave his team a lead when a rebound bounced off his chest and in.

The Pirates tied it early in the third on a goal by Mark Louis, normally a defenseman but playing right wing, a shot that caromed off DiPietro's glove and into the net for his first pro goal.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp; http://blog.connpost.com/fornabaio

3 stars

1. CHRIS BROWN, PORTLAND: Second goal was the game-winner.

2. MATT DONOVAN, BRIDGEPORT: A goal and an assist in the third period.

3. LUCAS LESSIO, PORTLAND: A goal and an assist in his second pro game.

UNSUNG HERO: Andrey Pedan had his first professional point on Ty Wishart's goal.

UP NEXT: Friday at Portland, 7 p.m.

-- MICHAEL FORNABAIO

PORTLAND...................................1 0 3 1--5

BRIDGEPORT................................1 1 2 0--4

First Period: 1, Portland, Brown 26 (Lessio, Rundblad), 9:23 (pp). 2, Bridgeport, Wishart 7 (Pedan, Riley), 18:02. Penalties -- Kabanov, Bpt (holding), 3:07; Backman, Bpt (high-sticking), 9:10.

Second Period: 3, Bridgeport, Ullstrom 9, :52. Penalties -- Bodie, Por (tripping), 8:41; Lessio, Por (hooking), 15:48.

Third Period: 4, Portland, Louis 1 (Shinnimin, Rundblad), 2:47. 5, Bridgeport, Niederreiter 28 (Donovan), 6:04. 6, Bridgeport, Donovan 14 (Ullstrom, Strome), 15:55. 7, Portland, Hextall 9 (Martinook, Miele), 17:17. 8, Portland, Lessio 1 (Bodie, Brown), 19:01 (ea). Penalties -- Dziurzynski, Por (delay of game), 3:52; Shinnimin, Por (unsportsmanlike conduct-diving), 7:45; Pedan, Bpt (holding), 7:45; McIver, Bpt (tripping), 9:54; Ullstrom, Bpt (high-sticking), 13:32.

Overtime: 9, Portland, Brown 27 (Goncharov, Miele), :26. Penalties -- None.

Shots on goal: Portland 10-6-12-1--29. Bridgeport 8-9-8-0--25.

Power play opportunities: Portland 1 of 4, Bridgeport 0 of 3.

Goaltenders: Portland, Visentin 14-12-1 (25 shots-21 saves). Bridgeport, DiPietro 9-8-0 (29-24).

Attendance: 3,469. Referees -- Binda, Burchell. Linesmen -- Briggs, Colby.

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