PORTLAND – The Portland Pirates scored two goals during the final 16 seconds of the second period to break open a tie game Friday night and skate to a 3-1 win against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Mark Mancari and Dennis McAuley each scored a goal and had an assist to help the unbeaten Pirates notch their third win in an AHL game played before 3,003 fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

“Sometimes, things just click and work,” said Mancari, who snapped a 1-1 tie with his third goal of the season. “We were working hard but at the same time we didn’t play a great (second) period.

“We took some bad penalties and we kept trying to put the puck in the middle of the ice and there were no openings. The last couple of minutes, we (played) simple. We did the right things, and everything clicked.”

With 16 seconds left in the second period, Mancari put in a blast from about 60 feet for his third goal of the season after Matt Ellis sent a drop pass back from the left hash mark.

With 2.6 seconds left, McAuley, a left wing in his first season with the Pirates, tipped in a pass from Mancari for his first goal of the season.

“When you see a guy like McAuley going to the net, you’ve got to get the puck there,” said Mancari, who threaded a pass through three defenders. “He’s a big body, and he made a great play. It was all him.”

It was a solid win for the Pirates, who have begun the season with three consecutive wins for the first time since their 5-0 start in 2008.

“Overall, I think we really got contributions right throughout the lineup,” Portland Coach Kevin Dineen said. “I thought it was consistent and a really good effort.”

The score was tied 1-1 at the end of the first period.

Bridgeport defenseman Travis Hamonic opened the scoring two minutes into the game when he put in a shot from the right point three seconds into a power play.

“I think it hit someone in the leg and changed direction,” said Portland goalie Jhonas Enroth, who allowed only one goal for the second consecutive game.

Nearly eight minutes later, Derek Whitmore stepped off the bench and scored the equalizer as the extra skater on a delayed penalty against Bridgeport. He finished off a rush down the right side by knocking a shot from the right circle in off the crossbar for his third goal.


NOTES: Portland rookie Luke Adam left the game nine minutes into the second period after he was upended by Hamonic, but he returned to skate regular shifts in the third period.


Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]