LEWISTON — The Portland Pirates finally gave their fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee something to cheer about Friday night.
Rookie forward Lucas Lessio scored the first two goals of his pro career to spark the Pirates to a 5-1 win over the Worcester Sharks – their first victory of the season on home ice.
“We wanted to win a game at home, obviously, but we felt we were playing fine,” Pirates Coach Ray Edwards said. “It’s not like we had the weight of the world on us, but it’s nice to win a game. Being 0-4-0-1 isn’t good enough, but I don’t think the world is coming to an end because we lost a few games.”
Mark Visentin made 45 saves to help the Pirates climb out of last place in the Atlantic Division ahead of the Sharks.
“They got a lot of shots, but if you look at the chances, I don’t think there were a whole lot of Grade A chances,” Edwards said. “I think the difference tonight is we scored on a couple (of chances) and got a little life, and (then) we’re playing with the lead instead of chasing the game.”
“The way I look at it is they didn’t have too many Grade As, and we did a good job of keeping them to the outside,” Visentin said. “Our defensemen did a good job of boxing their guys out, eliminating second chances.”
The Pirates built a 3-0 lead by the middle of the second period.
McMillan opened the scoring less than seven minutes into the game when he poked a rebound into the right side for his first goal of the season after goalie Harri Sateri stopped a shot by Chris Brown.
Veteran forwards Brandon Yip and Gilbert Brule scored two and a half minutes apart in the second period. Yip jammed the puck inside the left post for his second goal of the season, and Brule put in a slap shot from the right circle during a power play for his third goal.
After Matt Pelech scored his first goal of the season for the Sharks, Lessio got his first goal on a shot from the bottom of the right circle to make it 4-1.
Lessio completed the scoring less than three minutes into the third by tipping Brulet’s shot from the left circle past Satari.
“He got a couple of nice goals, and hopefully that will give him some confidence,” Edwards said of Lessio. “He’s putting a lot of work in. He’s spending a lot of time with the coaches. He spent a lot of time this week looking at different things and trying to help his game.”
Edwards still sees plenty of room for improvement.
“As a group, there were a lot of areas in that game where we were good, but there were some things we’ve got to get better at,” he said. “We’ve got to learn how to play against teams like (Worcester). They’re a heavy team and you’ve got to be disciplined.”
NOTES: Brown and Worcester defenseman Taylor Doherty each received a game misconduct after a lengthy fight following the end of the second period.
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