LEWISTON – The Portland Pirates played before a sellout crowd at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee Saturday night, but they didn’t give the fans much to get excited about.
The Providence Bruins scored four goals in a little more than 10 minutes during the second period to cruise to a 5-2 win against the Pirates.
“The crowd was great tonight, and we didn’t give them much to cheer about,” Pirates Coach Ray Edwards said.
For the second consecutive game, the Pirates took the lead during the opening period only to lose it during the second stanza.
“That second period was unacceptable just from a discipline standpoint,” Edwards said.
“Things we’re going pretty well for us. We give up a goal, and that’s OK. You know, you’ve got to manage that.
Jordan Szwarz’s first-period goal, assisted by Brandon Gormley and Andy Miele, gave the Pirates the lead late in the first period, but Providence rookie Seth Griffith tied the score by converting a turnover into a breakaway goal less than six minutes into the second period.
Eight minutes into the second period, the Bruins took a 2-1 lead when Alexander Fallstrom intercepted Gormley’s clearing pass from behind the net and slid the puck past goaltender Mike Lee while both teams skated short-handed.
Ryan Spooner made it 3-1 when he scored on another breakaway with less than eight minutes left in the period.
Less than a minute later, Jordan Martinook put in a shot from center point for the Pirates.
With less than five minutes left in the period, Craig Cunningham got his stick on a rebound off the backboards and stuck the puck inside the left post for a power-play goal to send the Bruins into a 4-2 lead.
“One of the best parts of the Coyote identity is playing with the lead, and obviously that last two games we haven’t done a good job of that,” Edwards said. “When you get a one-goal lead, that’s when you’ve got to shut it down, and we didn’t do that.”
Spooner added an empty-net goal with less than two minutes left.
NOTES: The Coyotes signed veteran forward Jeff Halpern to a two-way contract. It is unclear whether Halpern, who was playing in Switzerland, will be assigned to the Pirates. He scored a goal and had two assists during a six-game stint with the AHL team in 1999 after he completed a four-year playing career at Princeton. A lower-body injury kept rookie Tobias Rieder out of the lineup after he scored both goals for the Pirates in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Manchester Monarchs in Wednesday night’s season opener. Veteran center Gilbert Brule practiced for the first time with the Pirates Saturday morning but was not ready to suit up for a game.
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: