03/26/2014 9:20 PM
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Lewiston, ME— The Pirates fell behind the Worcester Sharks early on Wednesday night and despite rallying, were unable to come back from the early deficit, dropping a 5-3 decision at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Lucas Lessio, Andy Miele and James Melindy all scored for the Pirates while Chris Rawlings, called up from the CHL on Tuesday, made 19 saves on 20 shots in relief of starter Louis Domingue. The Shark’s victory came in Worcester Head Coach Roy Sommer’s record breaking 1,257th AHL game behind the bench.
The first period belonged to the Sharks as they took a 3-0 lead. Matt Tennyson broke the ice, scoring at 6:29 on a backhander that deflected off a Pirates stick and past Louis Domingue. At 8:44, the Sharks extended their lead when Travis Oleksuk put away a pass from Adam Schmidt who had dug it out from behind the net. Then, in the dying moments of the first, Matt Pelech gave the Sharks the three goal lead when he beat Domingue from the blue line with just 1.5 seconds remaining.
Domingue, who has been battling an illness, was replaced by Rawlings at the start of the second. During the second frame, Pirates picked up their play, eventually getting on the board at 14:26. After a puck squirted out of a scrum near the Sharks blue line, Lessio swooped in, grabbed it off the boards, danced around a defender and fired a shot on Troy Grosenick. The puck appeared to be swallowed up by the Worcester netminder, but it trickled through his pads and over the line. The goal extended Lessio’s point streak to four games and gives him 46 points on the year (23g, 23a), fifth amongst AHL rookies.
After getting the Pirates on the board, Lessio drew a holding penalty to Dylan DeMelo, allowing Miele to score his team-best 24th goal of the year at 15:59. Miele fed a cross-ice pass to Tobias Rieder who kicked the puck from his skates and passed to Brandon Yip. Grosenick denied Yip’s shot, but Miele was waiting on the doorstep and stashed home the loose rubber.
Less than two minutes later, the Sharks were able to recapture their two-goal lead as Eriah Hayes beat Rawlings on a breakaway at 17:41.
The Pirates hung tough in the third, looking for a way to tie the game and with just 1:11 left, James Melindy capitalized with Rawlings pulled to pull the Pirates within one. But the Sharks would end the rally there, scoring just seconds later with Rawlings pulled again, sealing the game 5-3.
The Pirates will next play host to Providence on Friday night for the 2nd annual Purple Night presented by Central Maine Medical Center. Fans are encouraged to wear purple to the game as the Pirates raise awareness for cancer care by wearing special Purple jerseys. All 50/50 raffle proceeds will benefit the Central Maine Cancer Institute and a jersey signed by TV and movie star Patrick Dempsey will be raffled off to benefit the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing.
Friday’s game can be heard on the Pirates flagship stations WPEI 95.5/95.9 FM as well as WEZR FM 105.5/AM 1240 in the Lewiston/Auburn area and WTME AM 780/1450 in Oxford County. The game can also be heard online at portlandpirates.com by clicking “Listen Live” and can be seen live on AHL Live at ahllive.com. The pregame show starts at 6:40 with Jeff Mannix.
Follow all the action on the Pirates official Facebook page and Twitter account (@PortlandPirates) with the hashtag #PiratesAway.
The Pirates have announced eight guaranteed dates for the 2014-15 season as the Pirates return to the Cumberland County Civic Center! Group tickets are available for all eight of the announced dates and flex and season tickets for the 2014-15 season are now on sale! For more information on the guaranteed dates, click here and for more information on ticket plans, call 207-828-4665.