The Portland Pirates coughed up a two-goal lead to the determined host Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who scored three times in the third period to post a 5-2 win at Webster Bank Arena. The loss snapped the Pirates' four-game winning streak.
Jonathan Racine (2) opened the scoring with a rare goal 2:17 into the action, with the assists going to red-hotChase Balisy and Sena Acolatse.
Defenseman Brent Regner (4) added to Portland's lead at the 3:57 mark of the second period. Wayne Simpson drew the only assist on the even-strength goal.
Bridgeport halved the deficit at 7:43 on a goal from Kevin Czuczman. Czuczman's fourth of the year was set up by Tanner Fritz and Alan Quine.
The Sound Tigers tied the game 5:31 into the frame frame when Mike Halmo lit the lamp from Ross Johnstonand Jared Gomes, a former member of the San Antonio Rampage.
Quine and Fritz combined again, this time setting up Matt Finn for the go-ahead goal as Bridgeport surged ahead 1:08 later.
Justin Florek and Halmo scored empty-net goals to complete the scoring. With his second of the tilt, Halmo reached the 20-goal mark for the Sound Tigers.
A busy Mike McKenna made 41 saves in the loss, including a first period penalty shot by Quine. Christopher Gibsonwas the winner, finishing with 31 stops.
Portland remained two points ahead of Hartford for the final playoff berth in the AHL's Eastern Conference, but no longer hold a game in hand on the Wolf Pack.
The Pirates (35-25-5-2) return home to face the Providence Bruins on Friday night at Cross Insurance Arena.