BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – It had to be the best penalty Phil Lane ever took.
When the right winger got free of the penalty box Saturday, he found the puck for a clean breakaway and scored the go-ahead goal with 1 second left in the second period, sparking the Portland Pirates to a 6-3 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
“I don’t even think it was my penalty, it was my linemate’s,” Lane said as Darian Dziurzynski leaned in to claim the credit.
“I came out of the box, and they had missed the pass, and I was behind the (defense).”
Brendan Shinnimin, Jordan Szwarz and Evan Brophey had three points apiece, and Portland came back from a 2-0 deficit with four goals in the second period.
“I really didn’t think the first period was that poor,” Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. “They got a break on a power-play goal off our leg, and it went in. We turned the puck over with 30 seconds left.”
The Pirates took a 3-2 lead, then gave it back on former Pirates forward Matt Watkins’ deflection.
Bridgeport had chances on the penalty charged to Lane, a trip on Matt Donovan going into the Portland zone with 2:09 left in the period. As the penalty expired, Watkins sent a pass from behind the net through the slot that missed everyone but Lane, fresh out of the box at the red line. He skated in alone and beat goalie Kevin Poulin low to the blocker side.
Brophey began the comeback off Chris Brown’s setup on a tied-up faceoff. Rob Klinkhammer jumped on a loose puck that had trickled through Poulin’s pads to tie game. Szwarz scored on a wraparound, making it 3-2.
Shinnimin and Szwarz (empty net) tacked on goals in the third.
The Pirates lost Jordan Martinook on a hit from Brandon DeFazio in the second period, part of a nasty exchange of scrums that featured a long and spirited heavyweight bout between Joel Rechlicz and Bridgeport’s Brett Gallant.
Edwards didn’t have an update on Martinook, only calling it an upper-body injury.
Things almost went south on the Pirates in the last four minutes of the first period.
Brophey’s stick clipped John Persson’s face, giving Bridgeport its second power play. Casey Cizikas scored from the slot.
A failed clear in the closing seconds, intercepted by Watkins, handed the Sound Tigers a 2-0 lead. Scott Campbell’s shot in the slot was blocked, but the puck deflected to Blair Riley for a one-timer with 11.6 seconds left.
Russ Sinkewich, who finished last year with the Sound Tigers, and Bryce Lampman made their Portland debuts on pro tryouts, paired together on defense.