For as many ways the Portland Pirates try to find a way to win, they manage to find a way to lose.A lackluster third period by the Pirates allowed the Springfield Falcons to score three times for a 4-1 victory before 3,505 at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.
It was the Pirates second straight loss and their sixth in eight games.
Portland and Springfield were held locked in a 1-1 tied for 40 minutes before the Falcons broke through just four minutes into the third period on a goal by sniper Martin St. Pierre.
St. Pierre took a feed from David Savard and snapped a quick wrister over Pirates’ goalie Curtis McElhinney from the high slot, giving the Falcons a 2-1 lead.
Just 1:27 later, Ryan Russell gave Springfield some breathing room when he found the loose puck at his feet and beat McElhinney at the 5:34 mark of the third period.
The Pirates, twice had third period opportunities to score on the power play, but couldn’t find a way past netminder Danny Taylor. However, with the Pirates on a power play as Cam Atkinson was serving a minor for delay of game. Andrew Joudrey raced to the loose puck first, letting a quick wrist go from the right circle that beat McElhinney with 6:24 remaining in the game.
Atkinson, who was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award last season, opened the scoring in the game only four minutes in as he capitalized on a poor defensive effort by the Pirates.
Left alone in front of the net, Atkinson took a pass from defenseman Nick Holden, lifting the puck over McElhinney to give Springfield a 1-0 lead.
Portland would score their lone goal of the game 12 minutes later on the power play as Andy Miele made a nifty cross-ice pass through two players to the stick of Michael Stone, who ripped a shot through the backdoor of Taylor at 16:58 of the first period.
Taylor finished the night with 19 saves, while McElhinney (2-6-0) made 26 saves on 30 shots in the loss.