On the same day it was announced that forward Maxime Legault was signed to an AHL contract by the Portland Pirates, he tallied a pair of goals as the Pirates snapped a three-game losing streak to defeat the Providence Bruins, 5-1, in front of 6,255 at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
Legault, who had only two games left on his professional tryout agreement, eliminated the uncertainty of where he would be playing past this weekend with the signing.
Down 1-0, the St. Agathe, QC native deflected a TJ Brennan shot by Bruins’ netminder Michael Hutchinson to tie at the game at the 3:08 mark of the second period at one goal apiece.
The Pirates entered the game without the services of key forwards Luke Adam and Mark Mancari, who are currently with the Buffalo Sabres, and Mark Parrish who is expected to be out for several weeks due to a hip injury and were looking to contributions from several youngsters in the lineup.
At 7:48, the Pirates took the lead, 2-1, after one of the youngster, rookie Jacob Lagace, picked up a loose puck and raced on net, flipping a shot by Hutchinson.
At 14:06, defenseman Drew Schiestel made it 3-1 when he wired a shot by Hutchinson as part of a three-goal outburst by the Pirates.
The game grew heated toward the end of the second period after Tim Conboy and Nathan McIver dropped the mitts at 18:13, followed by an incident with 54 seconds left in the game that saw Bruins’ forward David Ling given a game misconduct.
Ling, jawing with Pirates goalkeeper Jhonas Enroth, sucker punched the Swedish goalie drawing the ire of teammate Brennan, who came to Enroth’s assistance.
Ling received a pair of five minutes fighting majors and a match penalty which resulted in game misconduct for a deliberate attempt to injure.
It’s expected that the league will review the incident to see if further punishment will handed down.
Portland put the game out of reach in the third period when they scored a pair of goals only 13 seconds apart.
At 12:14, Brennan took the initial shot on net that deflected off several bodies in front including Pirates’ captain Matt Ellis, who was credited with the goal.
Just off the face off, Legault beat Hutchinson before the Ellis goal was even announced to give the Pirates a commanding 5-1 lead.
With the victory the Pirates move back into second place in the Atlantic Division after Worcester fell 4-1 to the Manchester Monarchs.
The Pirates continue their three games in three days stretch when they travel to Glens Falls, NY to take on former Pirates’ netminder Michael Leighton, who is currently on a reconditioning assignment with the Adirondack Phantoms before finishing the weekend in Manchester against the Atlantic Division leading Monarchs.