PORTLAND — The Portland Pirates came out on top in a showdown between the top two teams in the AHL’s Atlantic Division Tuesday night.
Rookie forwards Jordan Martinook and Chris Brown each scored two goals to spark the Pirates to a 6-3 win over the Providence Bruins before a crowd of 3,647 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The victory put Portland into a first-place tie with Providence.
“We found a way to beat a good hockey club,” said Portland Coach Ray Edwards.
The Pirates did it by scoring on three of their four power plays and riding a solid performance by rookie goalie Louis Domingue, making his first AHL start after spending most of the season in the ECHL with the Gwinnett Gladiators.
“It’s nice again to have a young goalie come in and play well, and give us a chance,” said Edwards.
Domingue was called up two weeks ago following injuries to goalies Chad Johnson and Mark Visentin. “It speaks of the depth in our organization as far as goaltending goes. It’s nice to know we’ve got guys who can play.”
Domingue made 17 of his 32 saves in the third period when the Bruins, who had won 12 of their previous 15 games to move past the Pirates into first place, held a 19-10 edge in shots.
“The last four minutes of the second period they took it to us and the whole third period,” Edwards said. “We scored some goals (in the third), but they were pushing. They never quit.”
The Pirates scored two power-play goals in 1:48 to take a 3-1 lead early in the second period.
Three minutes in, Brown snapped a 1-1 tie when he stuck the puck into the right side. Then, Martinook put in a shot from the left circle.
Two minutes into the third period, Providence defenseman Kevan Miller scored his second goal of the season on a shot from the top of the left circle to make it 3-2.
Five minutes later, Brown scored his 18th goal on the Pirates’ third power play when his shot from the left circle trickled in off goalie Niklas Svedberg’s pads.
With 10 minutes left, Alexandre Bolduc scored the Pirates’ eighth short-handed goal of the season to make it 5-2. It was his team-high 20th goal.
Moments later, the Bruins’ Craig Cunningham finished off the power play with his 14th goal.
Rob Klinkhammer slid his 14th goal into an empty net with 32 seconds left.
The score was tied 1-1 at the end of the first period.
NOTES: The Pirates play 13 of their final 22 games at the Civic Center. Two former Portland goalies, Mike McKenna of the Peoria Rivermen and David Leggio of the Rochester Americans, posted shutouts last week. Providence forward Graham Mink, a Vermont native who spent 3 1/2 seasons with the Pirates, recently became the 84th player in AHL history to reach the 500 career-point plateau.
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]