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Pirates pound Sound Tigers 6-3 for second straight win

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Special teams powered rout keeps Portland in playoff position

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie defenseman Mike Matheson scored the game-winning goal and added two assists as the Portland Pirates took care of  the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by a 6-3 count at Cross Insurance Arena to open a three-game homestand.

After a scoreless first period, Wade Megan (10) collected the game's first goal, from Connor Brickley and Rob Flick, at 6:58 of the second. The tally was Megan's AHL-leading fifth shorthanded goal of the season.

Birdgeport's Justin Vaive quickly countered at 9:02 to even the game. Justin Florek and Ben Holmstrom were credited with the assists.

Brickley and Matheson combined to set up Wayne Simpson's (6) power-play goal at the 11:36 to give the Pirates the lead back.

Portland added to its advantage with another power-play marker 1:08 later. Rob Schremp (19) got the goal, with the assists going to Matheson and fellow blueliner Brent Regner.

Matheson (7) came up with Portland's third power-play goal of the night when he lit the lamp at 18:56, with Flick picking up the lone assist on the play.

The Sound Tigers cut the deficit down to two when Mike Halmo scored, from Tanner Fritz, 1:27 into the final frame.

Brett Olson (10) bagged a shorthanded empty-net goal at 17:33, with Corban Knight registering the only helper to restore the Pirates' three-goal lead.

Connor Jones notched a power-play goal for Bridgeport 58 seconds later before Shane Harper (10) completed the scoring with another empty-netter.

Mike McKenna stopped 20 shots to post his 27th win of the campaign. Stephon Williams took the loss, finishing with 21 saves.

Up next for the Pirates (33-24-5-2) are back-to-back home games against the Springfield Falcons on Friday and Saturday night.