LEWISTON — The Portland Pirates showed an ability to come from behind Friday, erasing two-goal deficit to force overtime.

They also showed a continued propensity to lose games in extra time or a shootout.

Stefan Matteau picked the right corner past Portland keeper Mark Visentin in the fifth and final round of the shootout to lift the Albany Devils to a 4-3 win over the Pirates in front of 1,924 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“I wouldn’t say we were great, but our guys battled hard,” Portland coach Ray Edwards said. “They found a way to get some points.”

The point is the Pirates’ fifth in four games as they try to climb out of the Eastern Conference basement.

“It was a momentum game, there were a lot of shifts in momentum, I thought,” Edwards said. “We were good in the first, they were good in the second, we had the majority of the play in the third.”

The shootout loss also comes on the heels of a series of moves by the Pirates’ parent club, the Phoenix Coyotes, that left Portland shorthanded. Gone are defensemen David Rundblad, Rostislav Klesla, Mathieu Brisebois and Brandon Gormley, and forward Chris Brown. All but Gormley, who was called up to Phoenix on Friday, were traded away.

“We had to put (Mark) Louis on the back end for the first time all year,” Edwards said.

The Pirates do have help on the way, and those players should be in the mix by the team’s next home game Sunday.

“We have a couple kids from the East Coast League coming,” Edwards said. “(Justin) Weller, he’s one of our guys, he’s been in the organization for a while but he’s never played here, so it will be a good opportunity for him.”

Trailing by a goal late in the third period, the Pirates forced overtime. Tobias Rieder ripped a wrister past Albany keeper Keith Kincaid on a feed across the top of the slot by Tim Kennedy at 15:47 of the third period to tie the game up at 3-3. Rieder coasted in on a 3-on-2 after a penalty to Albany’s Alexander Urbom left the Devils shorthanded. Kennedy took a feed at the blue line from Andy Miele and charged to the left circle, drawing defenders with him, before finding Rieder alone on the right side.

“We hung around the game and found a way on the power play to tie it,” Edwards said.

The Pirates will play a road game in Worcester on Saturday before facing Springfield at the Colisee on Sunday.

The game started well for the Pirates. After a quick burst of pressure off the opening faceoff from Albany, the Pirates got the start they were looking for. Brett Hextall fed Jordan Martinook up the left wing and the speedy forward cruised around the Devils’ defensemen, breaking in alone on Kincaid. Martinook fired the puck high blocker on the Albany keeper for the first goal of the game, on the first shot of the contest.

The Devils took advantage of a misplayed puck behind the Pirates’ cage to even the game at 1-1. With four players battling along the boards, the puck squirted into the low slot. Scott Timmins reached it first, swiveled to his forehand, and fired a wrister past Mark Visentin at 10:40 of the first.

The Devils took the lead at 1:22 of the second as Reid Boucher finished in front on a feed from Mattias Tedenby, who was camped behind Visentin’s net.

The visitors ran the score to 3-1 less than two minutes later. On a faceoff in the Pirates’ zone to Visentin’s right, Tim Kennedy won the faceoff cleanly backward, but the puck glanced off a defender’s skate and eluded Visentin. Tim Sestito, who was lined up for the faceoff against Kennedy, was credited with the goal.

“We win the faceoff and it goes in our net, we can’t have that,” Edwards said. “Other than that, the rest of the game, I thought (Visentin) was pretty good.”

Brendan Shinnimin got the Pirates back on the board at 12:14 of the second when he picked an Albany defender’s pocket and raced in alone on Kincaid, beating the keeper high under the bar to draw the home team within one at 3-2.


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