Buoyed by a Kyle Hagel scrap and ensuing penalty kill, the Pirates came from behind in the third period to force overtime before Manchester’s Brandon Kozun buried his team’s second goal of the shootout to lead the Monarchs to a 3-2 win.

“Overall we were very pleased,” Pirates coach Ray Edwards said. “The issue for me was the momentum. At certain times, we couldn’t get the momentum going the other way. We were stuck in our zone a bit. But that’s all part of growing.”

“Obviously we’d like to get a win in our first game to start the year off,” captain Jordan Szwarz said. “But it’s out first game, we know it’s not going to be perfect coming in and bottom line we can take from the game is we worked hard.”

For the Monarchs, their first win of the season came in their second game, both of which have gone to a shootout.

“We played well in our last game,” Manchester coach Mark Morris said. “But any time there’s an ‘L’ in there (for a loss), it’s still a loss. It was good to see us find a way to take home two points.”

Tobias Rieder led the way for the Pirates with both goals in regulation, including the tying goal on the power play at 12:24 of the third period when he dug for a loose puck in front and jammed it through Manchester goalie Martin Jones’ pads to knot the score at 2-2 following Hagel’s bout.


“The key is, we killed off the penalty,” Edwards said. “You get momentum when you do those types of things. We went back on the power play and were able to score … I thought we did a nice job of understanding what Kyle was trying to do for us, and not only did we kill the penalty for him, we went out and scored the next power play.”

Rieder impressed Edwards with his play Wednesday.

“He’s a real smart player, tenacious around the net,” Edwards said. “He’s got the ability to score. Some of the things he did in the defensive zone, as far as blocking shots and getting puck out under pressure, those are little details of the game. He was a good player (Wednesday), one of our best players.”

The Pirates had a chance in overtime when captain Jordan Szwarz broke in on Jones, but he couldn’t get a solid handle on the puck and Jones kicked it away. Jones also stopped Miele’s second effort on the play.

“I had some speed I just tried to get open for (Brandon) Gormley,” Szwarz said. “He made a great pass to me. I wanted to try to go upstairs. I had the top of the net there. I just couldn’t get the puck off quick enough.”

Linden Vey and Derek Forbort led Manchester with a goal and an assist each in regulation.


“That might be one of the better games Forbort’s played for us,” Morris said. “He stood tall physically and handled himself well against a tough kid in Hagel, and he came up with a big goal earlier.”

The Pirates struck first at 13:08 of the first frame on the power play, their second chance with a man advantage. Brandon Gormley set up at the point, corralled the puck and slid it to Andy Miele at the left half wall. Miele danced to create space and slipped the puck to Rieder in the middle of the slot. Rieder went bar down on Jones over the keeper’s blocker shoulder for the 1-0 lead.

Manchester found the equalizer at even strength 4:28 into the second period when Vey forced a turnover to Portland goalie Mark Visentin’s right. The puck squirted from there to the high slot, where Forbert crept in and one-timed it over a surprised Visentin.

Manchester held the advantage in shots through the middle part of the period but couldn’t solve Visentin. The Pirates had a couple of grade-A chances going the other way with less than five minutes to play, but Jones was solid, stopping all comers.

“He looked comfortable and confident,” Morris said. “He was real solid, square to the puck and we’re patching holes as we move forwards and he obviously helps us to keep the ship afloat.”

With less than a minute to play in the second, Szwarz took his second penalty of the frame, leading to a breakaway for Vey, who roofed the puck top glove past Visentin to put the Monarchs ahead, 2-1.

“We came out hard. They sort of tilted the ice in the second,” Edwards said.

The Monarchs continued to control a lot of the play in the third, as well, until Hagel’s fisticuffs.

Note: Chris Brown and Lucas Lessio began the season with the Phoenix Coyotes, and began Wednesday in Detroit with that squad before being sent to the Pirates as Brandon Yip and Tim Kennedy were recalled. Kennedy and Yip made it to Detroit in time for the Coyotes’ practice there in advance of their game against the Red Wings, and Brown and Lessio barely made it to Lewiston in time for Wednesday’s home opener. Both were in the lineup.

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