PORTLAND – The Portland Pirates stuck to the game plan Saturday night and it paid off.
The Pirates snapped a three-game losing streak by cruising to a solid 5-2 victory against the Binghamton Senators before a crowd of 6,026 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
“We felt like we were in control,” veteran center Alexandre Bolduc said. “Even though they scored the first goal we were confident we were going to come back, and we were going to win this game.”
“We played a team game,” defenseman Tyler Eckford said. “We had a game plan. It was neutral zone, get the puck deep and go work their (defense) and protect. For the most part, I think we pretty much played our game plan to a T.”
The Pirates (22-19-2-3) are two points behind the Worcester Sharks and Connecticut Whale for the last Eastern Conference playoff spots.
Binghamton entered with the fewest points in the AHL.
“We’re sick and tired of being mediocre,” Bolduc said. “We have the personnel here that there’s no way we should be mediocre. We have guys who have won, guys who have played in the NHL quite a bit. It’s time we stepped up and we did tonight.”
The Pirates took only six shots in the first period and fell behind, 1-0.
Bolduc tied it less than a minute into the second period by slamming a rebound into the right side of the goal.
“We wanted to simplify it so we knew we were going to have a little bit of a boring game,” he said. “We wanted to play a little more safer, a little more patient, and then pounced when we got chances, and that was pretty much what we did.”
A little more than a minute later, Brett MacLean gave the Pirates the lead.
Portland made it 3-1 less than three minutes into the third on Eckford’s fifth goal.
Later in the period, the Pirates had to kill off a 5-minute major penalty to MacLean, who got penalized for hitting defenseman Mark Borowiecki in the face with his stick.
David Dziurzynski scored a power-play goal for the Senators, but that was it.
Michael Stone and Mathieu Brodeur then added goals for the Pirates.
“This is the way we’ve got to play if we have any chance of doing anything, so it’s a start,” Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. “We had everyone going tonight, and we need that. We were hard on the puck. We were good on the forecheck. We were better defensively. Our goaltender was good. That’s the way you’ve got to be in this league.”
NOTES: Defenseman Patrick Boileau and forwards Brad Church and Peter Ferraro are candidates for the Portland Pirates Hall of Fame. Fans can vote by visiting www.portlandpirates.com. Right wing Ashton Rome returned to Portland’s lineup after missing three games because of a broken nose.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: