LEWISTON – The Portland Pirates appear to be trending in the right direction.
Portland performed well in nearly every facet of the game Saturday night in rolling to a 4-2 win over the Binghamton Senators at the sold-out Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
In their last four games, the Pirates have earned seven out of a possible eight points to move to 3-2-1 on the season.
“If you look at every game this year, we’ve shown we’re a hard working group,” said Jordan Szwarz, a right wing who scored his first goal of the season to spark the Pirates. “We’re competitive players, and we’re going to come to play every night.”
Chad Johnson stopped 38 shots as the Pirates posted their third win in four games.
“I didn’t think defensively we were tight enough tonight,” Portland Pirates Coach Ray Edwards said, “but your goalie can sometimes bail you out of those things. I think we’re smarter than that (and) know we’ve got to be better defensively.”
Portland scored on two of nine power plays, killed all five of the Senators’ power plays, and scored goals when the two teams skated five on five and four on four.
The one area where the Pirates seem to continue to have problems is allowing short-handed goals. Both of Binghamton’s goals came during Portland power plays. In six games, the Pirates have allowed five short-handed goals to lead the AHL.
“When you’re on a man advantage, you want to do something with the puck and open up plays, but we’ve got to be a little more cautious with what we’re doing,” Portland defenseman Michael Stone said. “I don’t think it’s a matter of us trying to do too much. I think we just have to do the right things at the right time.”
Binghamton rookie forward Jakob Silverborg turned a turnover into a short-handed goal 10:03 into the game. With 2:48 left in the period, veteran center Alexandre Bolduc made it 1-1 by tipping defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s blast from the top of the slot for a power-play goal, his team-high sixth goal of the season.
Andy Miele put in a wide-angled shot from the right side 11 seconds into the Pirates’ fourth power play of the game to send them into a 2-1 lead 4:24 into the second period. It was his fourth goal of the season.
Portland made it 3-1 at 4:46 of the third period when Szwarz tipped in Stone’s shot from the right point for his first goal of the season.
With 13 minutes left, Corey Cowick scored a short-handed goal for Binghamton.
NOTES: The Pirates played the final 15 minutes without Ekman-Larsson, who injured a finger when he was slashed early in the third period.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: