Wednesday, March 12, 2014
By Paul Betit email@example.com
LEWISTON — The Portland Pirates had a rocky second period for the third straight game Saturday night, and it cost them.
Conor Allen, Michael Haley and rookie Danny Kristo scored during a 13-minute span of the second period as the Hartford Wolf Pack pulled out a 3-2 win before 2,973 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
“We’re having trouble scoring,” Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. “We’re getting the opportunities to score, but we haven’t been able to find the back of the net or the goaltender has been really good.”
The winless Pirates held a 41-38 edge in shots, but goalie Cam Talbot came up with 39 saves.
“I’m real happy with how hard we’re working, our compete level,” Edwards said. “Our execution is just a little off, and hopefully with more games we’ll get some more rhythm to our game and the execution will get a little bit better.”
Gilbert Brule, an NHL veteran just recently signed by the Pirates, opened the scoring late in the first period with his first AHL goal in two seasons.
Right wing Brandon Yip, another NHL vet who spent the early part of the season with the Phoenix Coyotes, set up the goal with a pass from behind the net.
Allen tied the score 16 seconds into the second period on a shot from the right circle.
“I didn’t like that goal,” Edwards said. “It was a tough way to start the period. ”
Less than two minutes later, the Pirates retook the lead when Andy Miele swooped into the slot to score his first goal of the season. Yip drew another assist.
Seven minutes later, Haley tied the score by sliding a rebound by goalie Mark Visentin.
With less than seven minutes left in the period, Kristo put the Wolf Pack (5-0-0-1) into the lead for good when he poked in a rebound for his fourth goal.
“Their big line was out there, and we had guys running around,” Edwards said. “We had a lot around. It was Hudson Bay rules at that point.”
The Pirates came into game with the AHL’s most effective power play with a 37.5 percent conversion rate, but they only managed one shot on net during two power plays.
“We had plenty of opportunities to tie that game up and maybe push it into overtime,” Edwards said. “The reality is we’re just not executing, and the only way to better is playing.”
NOTES: For the seventh straight season, the Pirates celebrated Pink in the Rink Night. Their special pink jerseys will be auctioned online with proceeds going to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. ... The Pirates travel to Massachusetts Sunday to play the first road game of the season against the Worcester Sharks. ... For the previous three seasons, the Wolf Pack were called the Connecticut Whale.
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: