October 20, 2011

Pirates turn on the switch

The Pirates, who lost their home opener to Manchester, triumph in the rematch.

By Paul Betit pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - The real Portland Pirates showed up Wednesday night to play the Manchester Monarchs at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

click image to enlarge

Justin Pogge of the Portland Pirates covers the puck after stopping a shot by Dwight King of Manchester.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Brandon Kozun of the Manchester Monarchs, left, competes with Andy Miele of the Portland Pirates for the puck Wednesday night during the Pirates 5-3 victory.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Four nights after losing their home opener to the Monarchs, the Pirates turned in a solid performance for a 5-3 victory.

"I thought the work ethic was there tonight," Pirates Coach Ray Edwards said. "We were tracking the puck well and we competed a little bit harder."

"We just played more simple tonight," said defenseman Nathan Oystrick, who scored his first two goals of the season. "We've got a pretty young team up front and we got pretty revved up. The guys were pretty excited, I think, and we just calmed down."

Andy Miele, the 2011 Hobey Baker Award winner from Miami University of Ohio, had two goals and two assists for the Pirates.

"I just stayed confident and did the little things right," he said. "I played more defensive hockey and when you play that way, you're just going to get more chances on offense. When I got my chances I buried the puck, and guys who I gave the puck to did a good job of putting it into the net."

The score was 1-1 after the first period.

Less than three minutes into the game, Jordan Nolan weaved his way down the slot to score his first goal of the season on the first power play of the game, the first power-play goal allowed by the Pirates.

With less than six minutes left in the period, Oystrick tied it by scoring from just inside the left circle after Ryan Duncan angled a pass from the right side of the slot to him.

The Pirates took a 2-1 lead nine minutes into the second period on Oystrick's second goal. He put in a blast from the middle of the left circle with a two-man advantage.

"It was hard work on the power play and I tried to find room," said Oystrick, a six-year AHL veteran who has played 65 NHL games.

Less than four minutes into the third period, former Lewiston Maineiac Marc-Andre Cliche tied it by scoring his fourth goal after intercepting a pass in the neutral zone during a line change.

The rest of the game pretty much belonged to the Pirates' kids.

Seven minutes into the final period, Miele popped in a loose puck during a melee in front of Jones to send Portland into the lead for good. Three minutes later, Duncan, the 2007 Hobey Baker Award winner from North Dakota, slid a wraparound shot inside the right post for a 4-2 lead.

With less than six minutes left, Linden Vey jammed the puck between goalie Justin Pogge's pads to make it 4-3.

With a little more than a minute left, Miele stole the puck and finished a breakaway into an empty net.

"We've got six first-year guys up front, and I thought it was good in a tight game to give them the opportunity to finish that game for us," Edwards said. "That's what they've got to learn how to do, to finish those games."

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


Twitter: PaulBetitPPH


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