Springfield, MA - The Portland Pirates suffered their first shutout loss of the season, falling 3-0 to the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA on Sunday afternoon. The loss puts the Pirates just 1 point ahead of the Providence Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division.
After a scoreless, back and forth first, the Falcons started off the second with a quick goal. Portland goaltender Chad Johnson mishandled the puck behind his own net and Wade McLeod capitalized just 14 second into the 2nd to give Springfield the 1-0 lead. The deficit remained 1 until Ryan Johansen converted a rebound into a top shelf goal over Johnson's shoulder, giving the Falcons a 2-0 lead at 17:24 into the second.
David Savard extended the Falcons' lead on the power play at 3:02 of the third, his 6th goal of the year, and Falcons carried the 3-0 lead for the remainder of the game. Curtis McElhinney, the former Pirates goaltender, stopped all 28 shots he faced for his 7th shutout of the year, and handing the Pirates their 1st shutout loss of the year.
The Pirates fall to 27-17-1-1, while the Falcons improve to 28-11-3-3 on the year. Chad Johnson falls to 14-9-0 on the season with the loss, stopping 26 of 29 shots. McElhinney's record improves to 21-7-1-2 on the year.
The Pirates are back in action tomorrow night as they travel to take on the Providence Bruins in a makeup game that was originally scheduled for Friday. The Bruins are just one point behind the Pirates in the Atlantic Division standings, and have won 6 straight games. Puck drops at 7:05 pm.