December 12, 2013

Pirates start slow, finish strong in victory over Providence

Portland wins a 4-3 shootout as goalie Mark Visentin stands out.

By Paul Betit pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

LEWISTON — The Portland Pirates pulled out their second consecutive victory Wednesday night, but they had to do it the hard way.

click image to enlarge

Goaltender Mark Visentin, with help from a teammate, frustrates Providence left wing Matt Lindblad during a scramble outside the Portland crease Wednesday night in Lewiston.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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WHO: Portland Pirates at Providence Bruins

WHEN: 7:05 p.m. Friday

Down by two goals, the Pirates rallied to forge a tie and then came out on top in a shootout for a 4-3 win against the Providence Bruins before 1,596 people at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“We’ve got to find a way to get better starts,” veteran forward Brandon Yip said. “I think that has been a struggle as of late. It’s up to the leadership group. We’ve got to find a way to get guys going right away.”

Yip played a vital role in ensuring overtime as he battled during a scrum in front of the Providence net to keep the puck alive until linemate Brendan Shinnimin poked it in for his fourth goal of the season to knot the score at 3-all with less than six minutes left in regulation.

“We did a good job, all three of us, of getting the puck to the net and a couple of second chances, third chances,” Yip said. “Part of our game plan is we wanted to get pucks low. The last time we played them we had some success cycling the puck, and that shift it really paid off.”

Lucas Lessio also drew an assist.

Last Sunday afternoon, the Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-2 win against the Bruins in Providence.

During Wednesday’s shootout, Andy Miele and Brandon McMillan scored for the Pirates, and goalie Mark Visentin stopped four shooters to secure the win.

“I’m glad we won,” Pirates Coach Ray Edwards said. “It’s good to get two points, but I wasn’t real happy with our game, to be honest. I didn’t think we had near enough players tonight. We had a handful of guys going, but I don’t think we had near enough of our depth guys playing well tonight.”

The Bruins were all over the Pirates during the first period, and the score reflected it.

Defenseman Ben Youds, a third-year pro in his first season with Providence, put in shot from the right point for his first goal as an AHL Bruin 10 minutes into the game.

Less than two minutes later, defenseman Joe Morrow made it 2-0 by putting in a blast from the left point during the night’s first power play.

The Pirates, outshot 16-8 during the first 20 minutes, gained some momentum on rookie defenseman Daine Todd’s first pro goal. His blast from center point trickled in off goalie Malcolm Subban’s pads with 4.7 seconds left on the Pirates’ second power play of the game.

But five minutes into the second period, defenseman David Warsofsky made it 3-1 for Providence when his shot from just outside the top of the left circle escaped Visentin’s grasp.

With less than nine minutes left in the second period, Lessio’s fifth goal of the season brought the Pirates back to within one when he tipped in Miele’s shot from the outer rim of the left circle.

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