January 26, 2013

Pirates score early, hold on for win

By GREG REID Special to the Telegram

PORTLAND – Rookie goaltender Mike Lee made 31 saves in his first start and the Portland Pirates scored twice in the opening two minutes of the game on their way to a 3-1 victory over the Manchester Monarchs before a crowd of 5,625 in an American Hockey League game at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday night.

Lee was recalled Thursday from Gwinnett of the ECHL.

The win was the first in four games for the Pirates (25-16-1-1), who head into the AHL All-Star break in first place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division. Manchester (21-19-2-2) is four points back.

“The effort was much better tonight,” Pirates Coach Ray Edwards said. “For 60 minutes, we competed really hard. We haven’t been doing that, frankly. We focused tonight on having a solid game heading into the break, just to be feeling good about ourselves, and we did that.”

The Pirates resume play Frida at home against Worcester.

“We’ll have these four days, then the season starts,” Edwards said. “We’ll have 33 games to jockey for position and then it’s the playoffs. Our work starts now.”

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