The Sound Tigers began the second half in style scoring just 23 seconds into the game. David Ullstrom skated into right side of the Portland zone, cut to the slot and fired over Portland netminder Justin Pogge to give the Sound Tigers an early 1-0 lead. The Pirates responded just 1:45 later to even the score. Portland defenseman Michael Stone intercepted a dump in attempt from the Sound Tigers and skated in on a partial breakaway. Stone deked to his left and beat Sound Tigers goaltender Anders Nilsson to tie the score at one.
However, the Sound Tigers retook the lead with four minutes left in the period courtesy of their top line. After cycling the puck in the offensive zone, Casey Cizikas gathered the puck in the high slot, spun and fired towards the net. Romano put his stick on the ice as he crossed through the slot and deflected the puck past Pogge for his sixth goal of the season, giving the Sound Tigers a 2-1 lead after the first period.
The Sound Tigers dictated the tempo during the second period as they outshot the Pirates 12-6 and scored twice to take a 4-1 lead. Tomas Marcinko pushed the Sound Tigers lead to two goals in what will probably be the strangest goal of his career. Marcinko lobbed a bouncing puck from center ice as he went for a change. The puck hopped towards Pogge, then jumped over his glove and in. It was Marcinko’s sixth tally of the season, and the Sound Tigers led 3-1 just 1:17 into the second period. Pogge was pulled at that point in favor of Marc Cheverie after allowing three goals on 11 shots. DiBenedetto netted his first of two goals midway through the period, firing from a sharp angle off of Cheverie and in for his 11th goal of the season.
DiBenedetto netted his second tally of the game 1:58 into the final period courtesy of his linemate Scott Howes. Howes carried the puck into the left circle of the Portland zone and waited for DiBenedetto to join the rush. Howes fired towards the net as Cheverie was out of position, and DiBenedetto knocked the puck home for his second goal of the game to make the score 5-1. Brock Trotter scored on a 5-on-3 at 3:44 after Brandon Gentile, Micheal Haley, and Jeremy Colliton were all called for delay of game penalties 1:42 apart. However, Nilsson stood tall and the penalty kill made a stand as Portland scored just once on their extended power play time. Romano closed out the scoring at 15:54 of the period with his second goal of the night. Cizikas broke through the Portland defense and was taken down as he slid on his stomach towards the Pirates net. Cizikas managed to slide the puck to his left through the slot to a streaking Romano who buried it, and the Sound Tigers came away with a 6-2 win.
DiBenedetto, Romano, Cizikas and Trevor Frischmon all recorded mutli-point nights, and Nilsson made 23 saves to extend his personal winning streak to five games.
The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena tomorrow evening to open a stretch of eight of nine games at home when they host the Manchester Monarchs at 7:00 p.m. Any fans who bring three canned, non-perishable food items will receive a free ticket to the Sound Tigers Feb. 20 game against the Albany Devils.
McNeely – Cizikas – Romano
Haley –Mouillierat – Ullstrom
DiBenedetto – Colliton – Howes
Gillies – Frischmon – Riley
Donovan – Gentile
Ness – Oleksy
Landry – Wishart
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