December 8, 2013

Bumbling Pirates lose a fifth consecutive game

With a shootout, Portland gains its first point in three weeks.

By Paul Betit
Special to the Telegram

LEWISTON — The Manchester Monarchs rallied for two goals to send the game into overtime and then won 4-3 in a shootout to hand the Portland Pirates their fifth consecutive loss Saturday night.

UP NEXT

WHO: Portland Pirates at Providence Bruins

WHEN: Sunday, 3 p.m.

Andrew Bodnarchuk and rookie Zach Bishop scored goals during the last eight minutes of regulation as the Monarchs, who came into the game with the AHL’s fourth-best winning percentage, rallied to snap a two-game losing streak before 2,398 people at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The Pirates managed to pick up their first point in three weeks.

“We’ll take some positives out of this one,” Coach Ray Edwards said. “At least we were better than we were (Friday) night.”

The Pirates were coming off their worst game of the season, an 8-2 drubbing by the Worcester Sharks at the DCU Center.

During the shootout, rookie Zach O’Brien and Tanner Pearson scored for Manchester, while Andy Miele put in a backhander for the Pirates.

The Pirates held a 2-1 lead at the end the first period, which took more than an hour, 20 minutes to complete.

Play was stopped less than two minutes into game when one of the referees detected a problem with the ice surface.

“One of the players made a quick turn and took a chunk out of the ice,” said Colisee General Manager Jim Cain.

After on-ice officials and a crew from the Colisee worked on a patch of ice in one of the faceoff circles for several minutes, both Zambonis were brought out to resurface the ice. The stoppage lasted for more than 45 minutes.

When play resumed, it took the Pirates a while to get going.

The Monarchs held a 7-1 edge in shots when Rieder opened the scoring 7:49 into the game. He flashed in from the right circle, weaved his way through traffic and lifted a backhander over the right shoulder of Manchester goalie Jean-Francois Berube.

Less than two minutes later, Brandon McMillan made it 2-0 when he swept in a shot from the bottom of the left circle for his fourth goal.

Eleven seconds after McMillan’s goal, O’Brien scored his first AHL goal after Hunter Bishop won the faceoff.

With less than eight minutes left in the second period, Rieder struck again, moving down the slot to lift his team-high eighth goal past Berube.

With less than eight minutes left to play, Bodnarchuk made it 3-2 when his shot from the left point glanced in off the far post for his fourth goal.

With less than three minutes left, O’Brien slid the puck into an open net when Portland goalie Mark Visentin collided with a teammate to the left of the crease.

“That goal was a bad break for us,” Edwards said. “We deserved a better fate.” 

NOTES: Luis Domingue, who was called up from the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators earlier in the day, served as Mark Visentin’s backup.

He has appeared in three games for the Pirates this season with a 1-0 record and a 2.40 goals-against average.

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