Portland, ME – The Portland Pirates were on the edge, but never fell off the cliff.
The Providence Bruins scored twice in the third period just 12 seconds apart, but the Pirates held on for a 4-2 victory before a sellout crowd of 6,762 at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday night.
The Pirates snapped a two-game losing streak (5-7-0-1) with only their second win on home ice (2-4-0).
At 4:47, just 12 seconds later, the P-Bruins pulled to within a goal and took the buzz out of the sold out crowd when Kirk MacDonald, off the faceoff, took a pass from Camper off the rush and snapped a wrist shot in the right circle over the shoulder of Pogge.
In the past that might have been a cause for concern, but tonight the Pirates rallied behind it and slowed the Bruins for the remaining 15 minutes of the period.
“We handled (the two goals) well,” said Pirates’ defenseman Nathan Oystrick. “They scored those two quick goals and our bench was still alive. In the past when something like that happens the bench would have just deflated and that when guys tried to do things on their own instead of staying within the system. Tonight, we just kept with the plan.”
“We’re learning how to win,” said Pirates’ coach Ray Edwards. “It’s a process. It’s not perfect, but we’ll take it tonight. I thought we were really good for two periods; we stopped (in the third period). We had to deal with some adversity in the third (period). We handled it pretty well. We were able to get it done.”
After losing Friday night in Springfield, the Pirates jumped out to a lead in the first period with a power play goal by Nathan Oystrick, who extended his point-scoring streak (2g, 4a) to four games.
The play was setup by Mathieu Beaudoin, driving to the right circle and passing the puck to Andy Miele, who redirected it to Oystrick for the shot backdoor on Bruins’ goalie Michael Hutchinson at the 12:47 mark of the first period.
The Pirates made it 2-0 with 2:27 remaining the second period as Beaudoin, who has played a couple games with rookie Andy Miele in the past, took advantage of his dynamic play.
Miele intercepted a turnover, bring into the slot area, finding Beaudoin, who shoveled a shot behind Hutchinson for his fourth goal of the season.
“I’ve played three games with Andy (Miele),” said Beaudoin. “For a player like me who likes to drive to the net, he’s the dream player to play with because he’s got the puck on his stuck. I just have to get open and he’ll find me.”
Off the faceoff, Portland made it 3-0 only 12 seconds later.
Colin Long won the faceoff to Jordan Szwarz, who dumped the puck into the zone. Igor Gongalsky was first to the puck and slid a cross-ice pass to Long at the top of the hash-marks for a one-timer by Hutchinson.
Marc-Antoine Pouliot added an empty-net goal to make it 4-2. Pogge improved to 3-1-1 on the year with the win after making 23 saves.
NOTES: Brock Trotter is expected to miss several weeks with an upper-body injury as will forward Matt Watkins, who is out with an upper-body injury.