03/29/2014 9:45 PM
Manchester leads VIP Cup Series 6-3
Box Score: Click Here
Game Photos: Click Here
Lewiston, ME—The Pirates scored seven times on Saturday on their way to beating the top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference, the Manchester Monarchs. Chris Rawlings, in his first AHL start, made 23 saves on the way to his first AHL victory. With the win, the Pirates keep their VIP Cup Series, presented by VIP Tires & Service, title defense alive.
Manchester jumped out to an early lead, scoring at 3:59 in the first on the power play with Jordan Weal getting credit for the goal. Less than two minutes later at 5:38, Brian O’Neill made it 2-0 Manchester.
The Pirates responded in a big way, scoring five unanswered goals. Tim Kennedy got the Pirates sailing with a great deflection in front of the net at 12:41 to get Portland on the board. At 18:42, Kennedy scored again, this time on the power play. Joel Hanley carried the puck into the zone, dishing it off to Kennedy who was trailing behind, allowing Kennedy to fire the puck over a sliding defenseman and into the back of the net.
In the second, Andy Miele scored his team-leading 26th goal of the year on the power play, blasting a shot from the left circle and beating Jean-Francois Berube over the shoulder at 2:41. Randy Jones was the next, hammering home a one-timer from above the right circle at 14:00 before Jordan Martinook scored at 16:39 on the power play, beating Berube under the arm and ending the Manchester goalie’s night.
The Monarchs pushed back shortly after Martinook’s goal as Andy Andreoff scored shorthanded at 17:21 to bring the Monarchs back within reach at 5-3.
Martinook gave the Pirates another three-goal lead at 9:02, again on the power play, as he slipped behind the defenders, receiving a pass from the far boards and firing home a shot to Patrik Bartosak’s blocker side. The Monarchs again tried to throw off the revolt, scoring at 10:34 when Sean Backman scored off a feed from Weal. Then, at 18:20, Manchester pulled to within one with O’Neill scoring his second of the night.
With the goalie pulled, the Monarchs sent six forwards to the ice to try for the game-tying goal, but a Monarch mishandled the puck at the blue line, allowing Brandon Yip to poke it away and rush towards the empty net to deposit the insurance goal at 19:48 and hand the Pirates the win.
With the win, the Pirates have gained some ground in the VIP Cup Series, presented by VIP Tires and Service. The Monarchs lead the series 6-3. For more information on the VIP Cup, visit www.vip-cup.com
The Pirates next game is Tuesday when they travel to Worcester to face off against the Sharks. Tuesday’s game is set for a 7 pm start and 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.