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Sound Tigers fall in OT at Portland

Updated 11:20 pm, Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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For most of two periods Tuesday in Portland, Maine, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers were all over the Portland Pirates. An old nemesis did them in.

Pirates goalie Chad Johnson made 28 saves, allowing two Portland power-play goals to beat the Sound Tigers 2-1 in overtime at Cumberland County Civic Center.

"I thought our team played a very good, structured game," Bridgeport coach Scott Pellerin said. "I was very happy with the way we competed, executed the game plan. We missed some glorious chances early."

Bridgeport's Brock Nelson was called for a high-stick on Chris Conner 1:41 into overtime. Pirates defenseman David Rundblad scored from the high slot through a screen at 3:14.

Johnson, a member of the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale the past three years, made one big save after another early in the game. The Pirates didn't muster as many opportunities, but Anders Nilsson (25 saves) was just as good.

"I thought (Nilsson) was making some really good saves," Pellerin said.

The teams exchanged six power plays in the third period and overtime, and the advantages decided the game.

Portland's Alexandre Bolduc scored on a rebound at 5:34 of the third with Sean Backman in the penalty box.

Once sprung, Backman drew three power plays for his team, fouled by three different Portland defensemen within three minutes. Bridgeport scored on the first on a Nino Niederreiter rebound.

The Sound Tigers killed off Marc Cantin's hooking penalty, incurred with 34 seconds left in regulation, but Nelson went into the box seven seconds later.

Casey Cizikas, who left Sunday's 7-2 win over Syracuse after two periods (which snapped an eight-game winless streak), returned Tuesday. Forward David Ullstrom (upper body) still has not played in December, but he was on the ice with the team for its morning skate Tuesday.

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

Bridgeport 0 0 1 0 -- 1

Portland 0 0 1 1 -- 2

First Period -- No scoring. Penalties -- Lane, Por (tripping), 2:45; MacKay, Bpt (boarding), 6:18; Shinnimin, Por (slashing), 12:21; Cantin, Bpt, major (fighting), 17:35; Lane, Por, major (fighting), 17:35; Riley, Bpt, major (fighting), 17:37; Louis, Por, major (fighting), 17:37.

Second Period -- No scoring. Penalties -- Goncharov, Por (high-sticking), 1:34; Cantin, Bpt (holding), 16:07.

Third Period -- 1, Portland, Bolduc 13 (Goncharov, Gormley), 5:34 (pp). 2, Bridgeport, Niederreiter 12 (McDonald, Nelson), 8:25 (pp). Penalties -- Backman, Bpt (hooking), 4:27; Gormley, Por (interference), 8:01; Ekman-Larsson, Por (hooking), 9:02; Goncharov, Por (high-sticking), 11:09; Cantin, Bpt (hooking), 19:26.

Overtime -- 3, Portland, Rundblad 5 (Ekman-Larsson, Brown), 3:14 (pp). Penalties -- Nelson, Bpt (high-sticking), 1:41.

Shots on goal -- Bridgeport 10-8-11-0--29. Portland 6-5-12-4--27.

Power play opportunities -- Bridgeport 1 of 6, Portland 2 of 5.

Goaltenders -- Bridgeport, Nilsson 5-6-0 (27 shots-25 saves). Portland, Johnson 8-5-0 (29-28).

Attendance -- 2,504. Referees -- McIsaac, Miller. Linesmen -- Andrews, Bathe.

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