The Toronto Marlies handed the Portland Pirates its worst loss of the season, routing the Florida Panthers AHL affiliate by an embarrassing 9-2 count at Cross Insurance Arena. Portland has now lost four in a row (0-3-1) and is losing its grip on a playoff spot.
Sam Carrick and Tobias Lindberg each scored twice for the Marlies, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Mark Arcobello, Connor Brown, Justin Holl, Josh Leivo, and Colin Smith were the other goal-scorers. Arcobello and Brown each added three assists, while former Panther T.J. Brennan and Brendan Leipsic both registered two helpers.
Pirates starter Mike McKenna was beaten three times on ten shots. The veteran was pulled in favor of Sam Brittain at the 10:35 mark of the first period. Brittain stopped 22 of the 28 shots he faced in relief.
The switch in goal worked, at first, as Wade Megan (9) lit the lamp at 15:06, from Wayne Simpson and Cameron Gaunce, to cut the deficit to two. Then, Toronto exploded for five goals in the middle frame to make the game a rout.
Greg McKegg (10), a former Marlie, scored Portland's other goal at 7:43 of the second, with the assists going to Shane Harper and Gaunce.
Antoine Bibeau tunred away 23 shots to post the easy victory for the might Marlies, who lead the AHL with 92 points.
Portland (31-23-3-1) will travel to Springfield to face the Falcons tonight, before returning home to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday afternoon.