PORTLAND, ME –
Center Andy Miele had a hand in all five of the Portland Pirates goals as they defeated the Manchester Monarchs, 5-3, at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Wednesday night.
Manchester (3-3-0-0) is tied for first place in the Atlantic Division with the St. John’s IceCaps (3-1-0-0) with six points each. Portland (2-1-0-1) is in third place in the Northeast Division with five points.
“We had plenty of chances to put this game out of reach in the first period,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We squandered power play opportunities and gave Portland life. A penalty filled second (period) sucked the energy out of our team. We battled to the end, tooth and nail, but we didn’t finish. We need to be sharper and more disciplined to beat teams in this league on a regular basis. We’ll keep plugging away and work to correct areas of our game that need attention.”
The Pirates took a 4-2 lead at 10:03 of the third period when left wing Ryan Duncan tallied his second goal of the season. With an offensive zone face-off win by the Pirates, Duncan carried the puck behind the cage and slipped a wrap around shot five-hole on goaltender Martin Jones
. Miele assisted on the eventual game-winning goal.
The Monarchs opened the scoring when left wing Jordan Nolan
wristed a shot past goaltender Justin Pogge. Nolan was fed the puck in the neutral zone by defenseman Jake Muzzin
. Nolan picked up speed entering the offensive zone and split the Portland defense down the middle of the ice. The left wing fired a wrist shot low on the stick side for his first goal of the season. Defenseman Thomas Hickey
assisted on the power play strike at 2:36 of the first period.
The Pirates evened the score at 1-1 when defenseman Nathan Oystrick beat Jones at 9:29 of the first period. Duncan held the puck in the right corner and found Oystrick sneaking down the left wing. The defenseman corralled the puck and wristed in his first goal of the season. Miele also registered an assist on the power play goal.
The Pirates scored the lone goal of the second period when Oystrick blasted his second goal of the game past Jones at 9:09. With the Pirates on a 5-on-3 power play, Oystrick got free down low in the right wing circle and received a pass from the left point by Miele. Oystrick one-timed it to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead with one second remaining on Portland’s two-man advantage. Defenseman Garrett Stafford picked up an assist on the play.
The Monarchs tied the game at 2-2 at 3:51 of the third period. Pogge attempted to settle the puck behind the net as Monarchs center Marc-Andre Cliche
chased after the dump in. The puck took a funny bounce off the end boards and popped free in front of the net. Cliche put the brakes on and awkwardly reached to swipe the puck into the open net for his fourth goal of the season.
The Pirates took the lead for good on a Miele wrister. Following a blocked shot, Miele jumped on the loose puck between hash marks and snapped a wrist shot that traveled through traffic and into the top of the net. Miele’s power play strike was assisted by Duncan and right wing Brett Hextall at 7:16 of the final period.
The Monarchs scored a late goal at 14:22 of the third period to come back within on tally. Monarchs left wing David Meckler
carried the puck from the left corner in an attempt to go behind the net when he found center Linden Vey
in the slot. The rookie center swatted Meckler’s feed past Pogge for his first professional goal. Center Andrei Loktionov
picked up his team-leading sixth assist on the play.
Miele finished off the Monarchs when he collected his third tally of the season at 18:42 of the final frame. Miele picked off a pass in the Pirates zone and skated the length of the ice on a breakaway. With Jones on the bench for the extra attacker, Miele slid the puck into the empty net for his fifth point of the night.
Jones (3-2-0) picked up his second loss of the season stopping 23-of-27 shots. Pogge (1-0-1) picked up his first victory of the season making 21 saves on 24 shots.
The Monarchs went 1-for-7 on the power play. Portland was 3-for-6 with the man advantage. Notables:
Monarchs are 2-2 on the road this season…Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones
took his first road loss of the season…Monarchs center Linden Vey
scored his first professional goal in the third period…Pirates center Andy Miele registered five points (2-3=5)…Center Andrei Loktionov
picked up his team-leading sixth assist on Vey’s third period goal…The Monarchs penalty kill gave up three goals for the first time this season.