Maine Hockey Journal

Baa Humbug!

Portland, ME – The Portland Pirates were looking to make a statement before heading to a much needed Christmas break.

So was Springfield.

The Falcons made sure to have a lump of coal in the Pirates stocking as they defeated Portland, 3-2 in front of 3,734 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

For the second game in a row, the Pirates gave up two quick goals to give the Falcons the lead.

While on a power play, Zenon Konopka scored his ninth of the season when he fired a shot from inside the right face-off circle, beating Falcons’ goaltender Karri Ramo under the crossbar to give Portland a 1-0 lead at 12:05 of the first period.

Curtis Glencross was off for interference at 15:19 to give the Falcons a power play, which they capitalized on just over a minute later. Falcons’ leading scoring Eric Healey notched his 12th of the season when Daniel Corso sent a wrist shot on net, Pirates’ goalie Nathan Marsters made the first save, but Healey was parked at the right goal post to put the rebound home with 3:32 left in the period.

At 17:04, just 36 seconds later, Sylvain Dufrense scored his first goal of the season, giving the Falcons a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. A defensive breakdown allowed the Falcons to generate an odd-man rush, Marek Kvapil found Dufrense alone at the right face-off circle, who fired a wrist shot to the top corner, beating Marsters.

The second period was a defensive battle for both teams as they were looking to take advantage of any mistakes made, however, the Falcons forecheck limited the time and space the Pirates had to find the open shooting lanes.

“I was really happy with the first period. We were moving [the puck] forward, they were giving us a chance to skate,��? said Falcons’ head coach Steve Sterling.

A bad bounce for the Falcons allowed the Pirates to tie the game at 2-2 with just 12 seconds remaining in the period as Ian Moran fired the puck from the top of the high-slot, a mass of bodies in front, screened Ramo as it was deflected by a stick over his shoulder. Simon Ferguson was credited with the goal, only his third goal of the season, his first since Nov. 24th.

Much like the second period, both teams played defensive hockey as to not give up the go-ahead goal, however the Falcons accomplished much of what they set out to do, playing a solid road game, which late in the period.

“It’s a game before a break, you let a road team hang in there a little bit and they get an opportunity to get some points out of your building,��? said Pirates’ head coach Kevin Dineen.

With 2:12 left in the game, the Pirates couldn’t clear the zone, Falcons’ defenseman Jay Rosehill fired the puck on net, Eric Healey would get a stick on the puck, deflecting the shot past Marsters to give the Falcons a 3-2 lead.

Nathan Marsters made 16 saves in the loss, while Kari Ramo stopped 24 of 26 shots for the win.

Plank Notes:
– Kent Huskins played in his first NHL game tonight for the Anahiem Ducks. The Ducks were shutout 2-0. Huskins played 27 games for the Pirates this season, scoring 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists).
– The Pirates are off til next Friday when they take the these same Springfield Falcons at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Game Time is 7:05pm.

Three Stars of Game:
1. SPR – Eric Healey (2G, +1, GWG)
2. POR – Colby Genoway (1A)
3. POR – Zenon Konopka (1G)

Shots on Goal:
POR – 8-9-9=26
SPR – 6-7-6=19

Goals by Period:
POR – 1-1-0=2
SPR – 2-0-1=3

Power Play Summary:
Portland Pirates PP: 2-for-5
Springfield Falcons PP: 1-for-5

Scoring Summary:
1. POR Konopka, (9) (Rome, Genoway), 12:05 (PP)
1. SPR Healey, (12) (Corso, Milley), 16:28 (PP)
1. SPR Dufresne, (1) (Kvapil, Jones), 17:04
2. POR Ferguson, (3) (Moran, Salcido), 19:48 (PP)
3. SPR Healey, (13) (Rosehill, Corso), 15:48

Penalty Summary:
1 – POR Wilson, 6:36 – Holding the stick , 2 min (PP)
1 – SPR Milley, 10:52 – Holding the stick , 2 min (PP)
1 – POR Glencross, 15:19 – Interference , 2 min (PP)
1 – SPR Healey, 20:00 – Roughing , 2 min (PP)
2 – SPR Cavanaugh, 5:34 – Roughing , 2 min (PP)
2 – SPR Rogers, 5:34 – Roughing , 2 min
2 – POR Miller, 5:34 – Roughing , 2 min
2 – POR Rome, 9:31 – Interference , 2 min (PP)
2 – SPR Cavanaugh, 14:47 – Cross-checking , 2 min (PP)
2 – SPR Smaby, 19:30 – Interference , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR St. Jacques, 9:45 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Bembridge, 13:35 – Interference , 2 min (PP)

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