Maine Hockey Journal

Rieder scores twice to snap Pirates losing streak

Tobias Rieder finished the game with two shorthanded goals, lifting the Portland Pirates to a 2-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch (PHOTO: Rosina Vacchiano)

Tobias Rieder finished the game with two shorthanded goals, lifting the Portland Pirates to a 2-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch (PHOTO: Rosina Vacchiano)

PORTLAND – The Portland Pirates knew they had this type of game in them.

After losing four straight games on the road, the Pirates returned to the Cross Insurance Arena Saturday night and snapped their losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch.

“We just had to get back to playing the right way, so that was nice tonight,” said Pirates GM/Coach Ray Edwards. “That’s the foundation that we have to have… that has to be our standard of work every night.”

Tobias Rieder tallied both goals for Portland and has recorded three points (2G, 1A) in the last two games.

“It’s nice for Toby to get off the snide a little bit,” said Edwards.

Both goals were scored while the Pirates were shorthanded as Rieder tied a franchise record dating back Dec. 26, 1995 when Jason Allison scored two shorthanded goals in a game.

“Our work ethic all night was good and on the penalty kill was really good,” said Edward.

Rieder, who went scoreless for the first four games of the season, scored his first goal of the night at the 7:23 mark of the first period, lifting the Pirates to a 1-0 lead.

It was the first time this season the Pirates had scored the first goal in a game.

With Greg Carey in the box for hooking, Jordan Martinook won the faceoff and dished the puck to Rieder, who broke down the left wing and snapped a wrist shot past Crunch netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy just 23 seconds into the penalty kill.

Portland had several opportunities to extend the lead in the first period including a pair of great chances by Lucas Lessio.

“I thought we played well once we got the lead,” said Edwards. “We kept going, skating and had numerous opportunities to push it to 3-0 or 3-1.”

Rieder would record his second shorthanded goal of the game as he played give-and-go with Alexandre Bolduc, finishing off a two-on-one from the top of the crease at 6:53 of the second period, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

It was the first time since the opening game of the season the Pirates held a multi-goal lead in the game.

“It was huge,” said Rieder of the getting the win. “We knew that we had to have a bounce back game. I think we played well for 60 minutes.”

“I still think we can get better. We have to bring that every night for 60 minutes, and that’s what will give us a chance to win. If we only play for 40 minutes, we’re not putting ourselves in a post to win.”

The Crunch got one back in the third period, cutting the lead in half, 2-1, as Cody Kunyk shot beat Pirates’ goalie Louis Domingue through a screen with 11:22 remaining in the game. Syracuse attempted to set a physical tone throughout the game, but no one from the Pirates would bite.

“When you have the lead, you don’t need that,” he said. They’re trying to get their team going and create some momentum.”

With 1:33 left in the game, Dalton Smith ran newcomer Francis Wathier from behind, slamming his head against the glass. Wathier, who was making his debut with the Pirates after signing a professional tryout last week, went down to the ice and was down motionless for several minutes while team’s athletic trainer Mike Booi attended to him.

Wathier would need help off the ice, and Edwards said he is likely out of action for a while.

Smith was given a five-minute major for boarding and game misconduct and will likely be subject to further disciplinary action from the league.

“He didn’t play a ton of minutes. He gave us really good leadership, makes the right play and plays the way we want our team to play. It’s too bad he got hurt,” said Edwards.

Domingue made 20 saves for the win while Vasilevskiy finished with 30 saves in the loss.

NOTES: The announced attendance was 2,544, half of the opening night crowd. The Pirates averaged 2,185 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee last season…. The Pirates recalled Dan O’Donoghue from the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL…. The Crunch were missing a large part of its lineup as both their leading and second leading scorers had been recalled by their parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier in the day.

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