Portland Pirates Win Home Opener 7-4

By Jaime Eisner

The Androscoggin Bank Colisee played host to the “home” opener for the 2012-2013 Portland Pirates season. The Pirates, the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes, opened the season at the Colisee because their normal arena, Cumberland County Civic Center, is still undergoing renovations.

The Pirate players with NHL experience put on an offensive show in front of 20-year-old goalie Mark Visentin who played his first professional game in net. Six Pirates had a multi-point night; two had multiple goals.

A wild 1st period saw six total goals scored; three for each team. Brett Hextall (SH), Chris Conner and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (PP) each scored a goal for the Pirates in the 1st period. Sebastian Stalberg, Sena Acolatse (PP) and Yanni Gourde scored goals for the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate Worcester Sharks in the 1st period. Visentin’s first professional period in net was one to forget as he allowed three goals on just nine shots. The 2010 1st round pick would settle into form for the final two periods.

The Pirates would take the lead 2:31 into the 2nd period on Conner’s 2nd goal of the night. Captain Alexandre Bolduc would give the Pirates a two-goal lead just seven minutes later. Both teams would add a goal before the end of the period including Ekman-Larsson’s 2nd goal of the night to end the second period 6-4Portland.

The lone score of the 3rd period belonged to 2011 Hobey Baker award winner Andy Miele. Conner assisted on that goal and finished the night with four points (2-2-4). The 3rd period would see 14 penalty minutes including two unsportsmanlike conduct and two roughing penalties. The Pirates would go one to win the game 7-4.

David Rundblad, Maxim Goncharov, Miele, Connor, Bolduc and Ekman-Larsson all scored multiple points. Visentin allowed only one goal on 20 Worcestershots over the final two periods of the game to earn his 1st professional win. Visentin saved 25 of 29 shots in the game (.862 SV %).

The Pirates play on the road tomorrow night at 4 P.M. Arizona time against the Manchester Monarchs the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.

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