March 9, 2013

Great start, bad finish for Pirates

Portland races to an early 3-0 lead, then lets it slip away and loses ground in the Atlantic Division.

By Paul Betit pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - Stefan Legein scored on a breakaway 2:52 into overtime to lift the Manchester Monarchs to an improbable 4-3 win Friday night against the Portland Pirates.

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Chris Conner of the Pirates circles behind Manchester goalie Martin Jones and looks for an open teammate while being chased by Linden Vey during Friday’s game at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Manchester rallied for a 4-3 overtime victory.

Photos by Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Darian Dziurzynski flips the puck over the shoulder of Manchester Monarchs goalie Martin Jones and into the top corner of the net for a first-period goal that gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead. Portland led 3-0 after one period but lost 4-3 in overtime.

Gordon Chibroski

Additional Photos Below

SATURDAY'S GAME

WHO: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (30-22-2-1, fourth in AHL’s East Division) at Portland Pirates (33-20-2-2, second in Atlantic Division)

WHEN: 7 p.m.

WHERE: Cumberland County Civic Center

RADIO: WPEI 95.5 and 95.9 FM), WOXO (92.7 and 100.7 FM)

TELEVISION: Time Warner Cable Channel 9

PENGUINS NOTES: Before Friday night’s 2-0 loss at Providence, the Penguins had earned points in five of their last six road games. On Nov. 10, they pulled out a 4-3 win against the Pirates in a shootout at Mohegan Sun Arena. In two games against the Pirates, left wing Trevor Smith has three goals. Right wing Tom Kostopoulos had his four-game points streak snapped Friday night.

PIRATES NOTES: Despite Friday night’s 4-3 overtime loss to Manchester, the Pirates, who play 11 of their final 19 games at home, have earned points in their last seven games on home ice. On Dec. 8, the Pirates beat the Penguins 4-3 in a shootout on the road. In two games against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, forward Chris Brown has two goals and an assist.

— Paul Betit

The Monarchs pulled out their sixth win in their last seven games by rallying from a 3-0 deficit in an AHL game played before 3,969 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

"Give Manchester a lot of credit because they had a lot of guys out of the lineup, and we really had a very good first 25 or 30 minutes," Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. "We looked pretty good, and then we just stopped. It was that simple. We stopped playing, stopped working, stop skating, stopped defending, and they didn't."

The Pirates appeared to be command after taking a 3-0 lead in the first 12 minutes.

"They have a belief system over there that they can come back, and they outcompeted us for the last half of the hockey game," Edwards said. "We just kind of laid down a little bit and thought the game was over."

The Pirates held a 15-9 edge in shots in the first period, but they were outshot 21-13 in the final two periods.

A little more than a minute into the game, rookie right wing Chris Brown slid in a rebound for his 20th goal of the season. It came eight seconds into a power play.

Brown shares the team lead for goals with Alexandre Bolduc, who got the first of his two assists on Brown's goal.

Darian Dziurzynski, a rookie left wing who signed to a new contract with the parent Phoenix Coyotes earlier in the day, made it 2-0 by scoring on a breakaway at 8:55.

The lead grew to 3-0 at 12:43 when Jordan Szwarz tipped in rookie defenseman Brandon Gormley's blast from the left point for his eighth goal.

Manchester cut into its deficit eight minutes into the second period when defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk put in a shot from the far side of the left circle for his seventh goal.

The Monarchs then scored twice in a span of 48 seconds early in the third to forge a 3-3 tie, getting goals from Brandon Kozun and rookie sensation Tyler Toffoli.

After Kozun swept a rebound into right side for his 21st goal, Toffoli scored his team-high 28th goal on a short-handed breakaway, just seven seconds after the Pirates went on a power play. It was the league-high 14th short-handed goal allowed by Portland.

Toffoli has 10 goals in 10 games against the Pirates.

"Hopefully, we learned from (this)," Edwards said. "You don't want to have those learning lessons this time of year, but sometimes it happens. We just have to be better."

NOTES: Before the game, the parent Coyotes recalled left wing Rob Klinkhammer from the Pirates for the second time in eight days and sent Swedish defenseman David Rundblad back to the Pirates. Rundblad wasn't available to play. ... The Pirates are now three points behind Atlantic Division leader Providence, which won 2-0 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. ... The Coyotes signed Dziurzynski, the younger brother of Ottawa Senators forward David Dziurzynski, to a two-year entry-level contract. In 41 games with the Pirates, Dziurzynski has six goals and three assists.

Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

pbetit@pressherald.com

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH

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Additional Photos

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Pirates goalie Chad Johnson stops a shot despite being screened by Manchester’s Andy Andreoff and Pirates defenseman Mark Louis.

  


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