PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Portland Pirates fell in their first trip to Providence this year, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin' Donuts Center Friday night. The loss was only the second for the 1st place Pirates in their last 11 games.
The action started off fast, as the Bruins scored just 36 seconds in. Chris Bourque took the feed from Ryan Spooner, who had the lone P-Bruins goal on Wednesday, and put it past Pirates starter Chad Johnson. Jamie Tardif also had an assist. However, a Providence penalty gave the Pirates the opportunity they needed to tie the game. Alexandre Bolduc would score his 15th goal of the year, a tip in of a Chris Conner shot from Chris Brown, at the 1:33 mark to tie the game. The Pirates then took the lead, with Brendan Shinnimin adding a power play tally of his own off a tip in of Michael Stone's shot. Shinnimin's goal was his 5th of the year and came at the 7:03 mark of the first. After a couple of fights that saw Brown and Garnet Exelby drop the gloves as well as Bobby Robins and Mark Louis trading blows, the Bruins tied the score. Matt Bartkowski sent Bourque's pass and put it past Johnson in 4 on 4 action with 3:17 left in the 1st, and the game would remain tied at 2 into the first intermission.
After a scoreless, penalty filled second that saw Brendan Shinnimin drop the gloves against Torey Krug for his first professional fight, the game stayed knotted until the end of the third, when former Pirate Trent Whitfield would break the tie. Whitfield, a member of the 10th anniversary all-time Pirates team would score off the rebound for his 1st goal of the year to give the Bruins the lead, and the win.
The Pirates fall to 19-12-1-1 and have dropped 3 of 4 against Providence this year. Johnson takes the loss to fall to 11-7-0-0, stopping 27 of 30 shots. Providence improves to 17-12-0-2, with Niklas Svedberg earning the win.
The Pirates return home tomorrow night when they face the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the second time this season.