PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Portland Pirates were handed their worst defeat of the year on Sunday, dropping a 7-1 decision to the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence. The loss drops the Pirates to 4 points back of Providence for the Atlantic Division lead.
The first period was filled with penalties and the P-Bruins took advantage. Justin Florek got the opening tally with 12:37 left in the first, to get Providence on the board. Garnett Exelby was then ejected from the game after boarding Ethan Werek, giving the Pirates a 5 minute unreleasable power play. However, the Pirates were unable to capitalize on their extended power play, ending the first period 0 for 4 on the advantage. With less than 2 minutes to go in the period, and the Pirates once again on the power play, Christian Hansen slipped the puck past Pirates starter Mike Lee for the shorthanded tally and Providence has the 2-0 lead. Hansen's shorthanded tally was the 13th allowed by the Pirates this year, which leads the AHL.
Providence extended their lead early in the second. Craig Cunningham would get the power play tally 2:40 into the 2nd period, giving the Bruins a 3-0 advantage. The Pirates then responded, with Jordan Martinook getting his 4th goal of the year against the Bruins. Phil Lane and Chris Summers had the assists on Martinook's 5th of the season. In a bizarre turn of events, the second intermission started with 1:30 left in the second, as a plate of glass on the end boards came loose. After the intermission, the remaining 1:30 of the second was played with no scoring from either side, and the teams switched ends to start the third.
Providence took complete control in the third. Florek got his second of the game with 15:49 left in regulation, and Cunningham would follow with his second three minutes later. Jordan Caron would add another for the Burins with 6:43 left in the period and Cunningham would complete his hat trick with 1:04 left in the game.
The 6 goal margin of defeat is the largest that the Pirates have faced all season, and drops the Pirates to 4 points back of the Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division. The Pirates drop to 31-20-1-2 while Mike Lee drops to 6-2-0-0, allowing 7 goals on 28 shots. The Bruins improve to 33-18-0-5.
The Pirates will stay on the road and play again on Tuesday night in Hartford against the Connecticut Whale.