10/19/2013 9:33 PM
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Lewiston, ME – The Portland Pirates scored twice for the third straight game, but a second period goal would again be decisive as the Hartford Wolf Pack defeated the Pirates 3-2 Saturday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
Celebrating Pink in the Rink, presented by Central Maine Medical Center, the Pirates donned special pink jerseys and honored breast cancer survivors, fighters, caretakers, and their families prior to the game. It wasn’t long before the intensity was turned up, as barely a minute and a half into the game, Kyle Hagel and Michael Haley dropped the gloves, bringing the Colisée crowd to its feet. The excitement continued throughout the first, with plenty of big hits, scrums and scoring chances, but not until the 18:31 mark did the score change. After peppering Hartford goalie Cam Talbot with a few shots, Gilbert Brulé finally found the back of the net from in close. With the puck bouncing around, Pirates forward Brandon Yip took the puck behind the net, feeding Brulé in front. It was Brulé's first goal of the season and gave the Pirates a late 1-0 lead heading into the intermission.
The Wolf Pack struck quickly, jumping out in the second and putting a puck past Pirates goaltender Mark Visentin just 15 seconds into the stanza. Conor Allen was credited with the goal on a pass that deflected and snuck its way past Visentin. The Pirates bounced back, capturing the lead less than two minutes later when Andy Miele scored his first goal of the season. Brandon Yip entered the Hartford zone and tried to make a move around a defenseman, but was unable to, leaving the puck for Miele, who toe dragged around a defender and snapped home a high shot from between the hash marks.
However, momentum shifted back towards the Wolf Pack. At 9:11, Hartford rushed into the Pirates zone on an odd-man rush. Shawn O'Donnel took a shot off from the left side that Visentin was able to knock down, but the rebound was slammed home by Michael Haley to again knot the game up. A couple of minutes later, the Wolf Pack grabbed their first lead of the game on a goal by Danny Kristo. A shot came in that was stopped, but the Pirates were unable to find the loose puck before the Wolf Pack could. Visentin scrambled in his crease, coming up with one save, but Kristo took the second rebound and found the back of the net.
In the third, the Pirates searched desperately for a goal, but were unable to get another puck past Talbot. The Pirates had a great chance 6 minutes in when Brandon Yip, already with two assists in the game fed Lucas Lessio on the left side but Talbot swallowed up Lessio's shot, keeping Hartford in control.
The Pirates kept up their pressure, even earning a power play opportunity, their only full power play of the game, but the Wolf Pack were stout defensively, turning away everything the Pirates threw at them.
The Pirates drop to 0-2-0-1 on the season despite a 39 save performance from Mark Visentin, who falls to 0-1-0-1 on the year. Portland will turn their sights to their next match-up, Sunday afternoon against the Worcester Sharks. Game time is set for 5 p.m.
Tomorrow’s game can be heard on the Pirates flagship stations WPEI 95.5/95.9 FM as well as WEZR AM 1240 and WTME AM 780/1450 in the Lewiston/Auburn area. The game can also be heard online at portlandpirates.com by clicking “Listen Live” and AHL Live. The pregame show starts at 4:40 with Jeff Mannix.
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