LEWISTON — The Portland Pirates looked to get back on the winning track, but fell  in the shootout after blowing a two-goal, third-period lead to the Manchester Monarchs  in front of 2,398 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The vibe wasn’t that great to start the game, but the Pirates eventually took a 2-1 lead into the second period after a lengthy hold up just 1:47 into the game.

A gouge in the ice in the Pirates defensive zone just inside the near-side circle took the ice crew and refs over 40 minutes to fix. The teams were sent back into their  respective locker rooms and the ice was resurfaced and sat for 15 minutes before the puck dropped for a second time in the first.

At 7:41, Tobias Rieder scored on the Pirates second shot on net for a 1-0. He  gathered a pass out near the blue line from Gilbert Brule, moved down the right wing before cutting to left and roofed the puck stick side on Jean-Francois Berube.

Brandon McMillan doubled the Pirates lead after scoring from the lower far side  circle at 9:24, but Zach O’Brien answered back for the Monarchs just 11 seconds  later to make it 2-1.

Rieder added his second goal of the game that he tapped into the open net off a nice cross crease feed from Brule at 12:50 of the middle frame to take a 3-1 lead into the final 20.


A seeing-eye puck started the undoing for the Pirates in the final frame when  Andrew Bodnarchuk’s shot from the point found its’ was past a sea of people in  front of Mark Visentin, hit the far post and went in to cut the lead to 3-2 at 12:32.

With just 2:43 remaining in the game, Manchester’s O’Brien kept pace with Rieder  and scored his second of the night on a tough break for Portland. Visentin went to  play the puck to the left of his crease and collided with a teammate, giving O’Brien  an empty net to shoot at.

“It was a bad break there on the third goal,” said head coach Ray Edwards. “I feel  bad for the guys. We deserved a better fait.”

Andy Miele was the only Pirate to score in the shootout as Brule, Brandon Yip, Keven Veilleux and Rieder were all stopped. O’Brien and Tanner Pearson scored for the Monarchs as Jordan Weale, Nick Shore and Andy Andreoff were stopped.

The Pirates look to take this game as a positive step forward to improving their recent game play and are hopeful to turn the season around.

“When you’re going through a tough time sometimes, like we are, you get tested a little bit more and we’re being tested,” said Edwards. “That’s okay, we’ll be better for it in the long run.”

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