04/07/2013 10:00 PM
The Portland Pirates fell to the Springfield Falcons 4-2 in front of 5,412 at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Sunday afternoon. The win gives Springfield the Northeast Division title, while dropping the Pirates to 3 points back of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for 5th in the Eastern Conference.
After a scoreless first half of the opening period, the Falcons got the game’s first power play chance as Phil Lane was called for high sticking at 9:28. They were unable to capitalize on that chance thanks to the penalty killing work of Andy Miele and Jordan Szwarz. The Pirates failed to convert on a power play chance of their own when Trent Vogelhuber was called for slashing at 12:09. Jake Hansen broke the scoreless tie, putting Springfield on the board at the 18:05 mark. Hansen buried a one timer from between the faceoff circles after taking a pass from Alex Aleardi to beat starter Mike Lee.
The Pirates relied on Lee to keep the deficit at one, as Springfield would jump out to a 12-1 shots advantage in the second. After a tripping call to Chris Summers at 5:59, Lee lunged across his crease to rob Matthew Ford on the power play chance. The Falcons made the most of their next power play chance in the second, when Jordan Martinook was sent off for charging at 10:23. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault tallied his 20th goal of the year, beating Lee under his blocker from the right faceoff circle. Portland was able to get a goal back before the end of the period, beating former Pirates net minder Curtis McElhinney on the power play. Miele picked up a rebound at the side of the net off a Maxim Goncharov shot to cut the Falcons lead to 2-1.
The Falcons used the power play again in the third to extend the lead. Evan Brophey was sent off for roughing at 8:15, and Blake Parlett would capitalize. Parlett stuffed a rebound off the end boards home for his first in a Falcons uniform to make it 3-1. Springfield struck again at 14:04. This time, it was Sean Collins finishing off a highlight-reel passing play with Ford and Audy-Marchessault. Portland would score one more time before the final horn sounded. Once again, it was Andy Miele burying a rebound for his second of the night and his 18th of the season to make it 4-2 with just 1.5 seconds remaining.
The Pirates fall to 38-26-3-2 on the season, snapping a 3 game winning streak, with Mike Lee dropping to 8-5-0. Portland’s magic number to clinch remains 7, as they drop to 3 points back of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the 5th spot in the east and remain 3 points ahead of the Connecticut Whale, who dropped a 1-0 decision to Providence this afternoon.
The Pirates get back to action Tuesday night as they start a 2 game series with the St. John’s IceCaps at the Mile One Centre in St. John’s. Puck drop is 6:00 EDT. The game can be heard on 95.5 and 95.9 WPEI in the Portland area, 92.7 and 100.7 FM WOXO FM in the Lewiston/Auburn area, and online on portlandpiratesradio.com and AHL Live, with the pregame show starting with 5:40 with Jeff Mannix.