Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates Lose to Springfield; Streak at Five

Springfield, Mass. – The streak continues at five.

Likewise, the Springfield Falcons continue to have the Portland Pirates number, defeating them 4-3 in front of 2,654 at the MassMutual Center on Friday night. The Falcons have beaten the Pirates four straight games including three straight at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The Pirates have gone through a fluctuation of roster moves over the last seven days as Anaheim continues to battle injuries and a its own three-game losing streak.

Ryan Shannon was assigned to Portland yesterday, only to arrive hours before the drop of the puck in Springfield. His impact would be felt immediately using his trademark lightning quick speed to generate several early chances, but bad bounces kept the puck out of the net.

Midway in the first period, Shannon nearly scored on a shorthanded breakaway, but Andy Delmore’s stick would come flying across Shannon’s body knocking the puck off his stick. A short time later, he would have a partial breakaway down the left side boards before cutting to the front of the net only to have the puck roll off his stick as he took the shot.

Earlier in the period, Pirates’ tough guy Trevor Gillies and Springfield’s Mitch Fritz twice exchanged blows as they tried to motivate their respective clubs in a scoreless first period.

The Falcons blew the game wide open in the second period scoring three goals including two within 1:36 span. Again, it was Eric Healey and Daniel Corso, who provided the firepower.

“There were a couple breakdowns there that were fairly obvious, fairly preventable,” said Pirates Coach Kevin Dineen.

Springfield’s first goal came at 6:01 of the period; Daniel Corso scored his sixth of the season on a penalty shot. With the Falcons down a man, Corso picked the puck up just outside the Pirates blueline, breaking in alone on Pirates’ goaltender Mike Wall, his first action with the Pirates since his return on Tuesday. Pirates’ defenseman Aaron Rome caught up to Corso breaking up the play, but referee Joe Ernst ruled it was penalty shot because Rome hauled Corso down.

On the ensuing penalty shot, Corso streaked down on Wall, beating him gloveside under the crossbar as Wall committed to the bottom of the net.

At 7:01, the Pirates would tie the game at 1-1 when Petteri Wirtanen scored his first of two on the night. Brian Salcido sent a shovel pass from the right point to Wirtanen, parked at the bottom of the right face-off circle, redirecting the puck over Falcons’ goaltender Karri Ramo’s right leg pad as he slid across.

Marek Kvapil put the Falcons back on top, 2-1 at 12:04 of the second period. Eric Healey, behind the net sent a backhand pass to Kvapil in the slot; he lifted the puck over a downed Mike Wall.

The Falcons took a 3-1 lead with 5:20 left in the period. Daniel Corso notched his second of the night as a defensive breakdown allowed the Healey-Spina-Corso line to break into the zone, beating Wall with a tic-tac-toe play as Corso found the open net in the low slot.

To pull a positive from the five game losing streak is Portland has been right on the edge of winning each game. Of the five games, they have lost four by a one goal margin.

“You can take a lot of encouragement out of the third period and we will, but obviously there are some issues in the game we have to address,â€? said Dineen. “We can see that when we have defensive lapses, it will come back to bite us in the tail and that was certainly the case tonight.â€?

The effort continued as Portland played their best hockey in the third period.

Just 43 seconds into the third period, Petteri Wirtanen scored his second of the night when he deflected Ryan Shannon’s shot from the point between the legs of Ramo to pull the Pirates to within one goal at 3-2.

The Pirates were called for back-to-back penalties, killing the momentum as David Spina found the back of the net with 13:41 left in the game. Mike Wall stopped the original shot from Andy Delmore at the point, but left a rebound for Spina as he knocked home the easy goal.

Midway into the final period, Ryan Shannon scored his first goal of the season to pull the Pirates to back within one, but it wasn’t enough as the Falcons held on to defeat the Pirates for the fourth straight time.

Mike Wall, in his return, stopped 21 of 25 shots in the loss, while Karri Ramo continues to roll against the Pirates stopping 27 of 30 shots in the win.

Plank Notes:– Ian Moran and Colby Genoway were scratched for the game.
– Pirates will return to action on Saturday as they return home to take on the Worcester Sharks. Game Time is 7:05pm

Three Stars of the Game:
1. SPR – Daniel Corso (2G)
2. POR – Petteri Wirtanen (2G, +2)
3. SPR – Eric Healey (3A)

Shots on Goal:
SPR 9-11-5=25
POR 7-7-16=30

Goal by Period:
SPR 0-3-1=4
POR 0-1-2=3

Power Play Summary:
Springfield Falcons PP – 1-for-4
Portland Pirates PP – 1-for-5

Scoring Summary:
2. SPR Corso, (6) , 6:01 (SH/PS)
2. POR Wirtanen, (5) (Salcido, Skinner), 7:01 (PP)
2. SPR Kvapil, (9) (Healey, Lascek), 12:04
2. SPR Corso, (7) (Spina, Healey), 14:40
3. POR Wirtanen, (6) (Shannon, Bembridge), 0:43
3. SPR Spina, (3) (Delmore, Healey), 6:29 (PP)
3. POR Shannon, (1) (Konopka, Durno), 9:13

Penalty Summary:
1 – POR Gillies, 3:23 – Fighting , 5 min
1 – SPR Fritz, 3:23 – Fighting , 5 min
1 – SPR Healey, 4:00 – Tripping , 2 min (PP)
1 – POR Gillies, 10:30 – Fighting , 5 min
1 – SPR Fritz, 10:30 – Fighting , 5 min
1 – POR Skinner, 10:55 – Cross-checking , 2 min (PP)
1 – SPR Spina, 18:33 – Tripping , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Bembridge, 1:29 – Holding , 2 min (PP)
2 – SPR O’Brien, 5:30 – Holding the stick , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Konopka, 16:38 – Fighting , 5 min
2 – SPR Smaby, 16:38 – Fighting , 5 min
2 – SPR Healey, 18:39 – Tripping , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Glencross, 2:05 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Konopka, 5:21 – Holding the stick , 2 min (PP)
3 – SPR Spina, 10:49 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)

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