Marc-Andre Gragnani scored a goal and three assists to lead the Portland Pirates to a 5-3 win over the Providence Bruins in an American Hockey League game played this afternoon at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Mark Voakes and Mark Parrish each added a goal and an assist for the Pirates while Jacob Lagace and Alex Biega rounded out the scoring. Portland moved to 43-18-5-2 with the win and into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division after Manchester lost 3-2 to Worcester earlier today.
Jamie Arniel paced the Bruins with two goals. Trent Whitfield netted the other. Providence dropped to 31-33-3-3 on the season.
Arniel scored just 1:52 into the game to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead but Gragnani answered the early goal on the power play midway through the period to tie the score at one after one. Lagace and Voakes scored in the opening 14 minutes of the second to give the Pirates a 3-1 advantage. The Bruins wouldn’t go quietly in the period as Arniel, with his second of the game, and Whitfield scored in a span of 52 seconds to get the home team back even at three. The Pirates inched back into the lead with four tenths of a second left in the second as Parrish connected to send Portland into the third up 4-3. Biega scored 61 seconds into the third to complete the scoring.
Shots were even in the game at 30 as Jeff Jakaitis posted his second victory of the season for Portland.
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the Game were 1. Gragnani, 2. Arniel and 3. Voakes.
The Pirates return to the Civic Center on Tuesday to host their second annual School Day Game, presented by Irving Oil and Modern Woodmen of America. The Worcester Sharks come to town for a special 11 a.m. start. This special event is designed to help encourage students to eat healthy and stay active and educated. Students participating receive a complimentary health booklet prior to the game that has fun interactive activities. The UNUM Challenge also continues between the Pirates and Sharks. At each game in each city one luck fan is chosen as the UNUM Challenge Fan of the Game. Visit portlandpirates.com to enter.