Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates Get Back to Winning Ways

Portland, ME – It’s over. The Portland Pirates defeated the Worcester Sharks 3-1, snapping a five-game losing streak in front of a near sellout crowd of 6,621 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

By far, the longest losing streak endured by the Pirates since becoming the primary affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, the Pirates put together a full 60 minutes, taking advantage of several mistakes made by the Sharks.

“We need a game like that,â€? said Pirates forward Zenon Konopka. “We’ve been working hard for the last four or five [games], finally we put 60 minutes together tonight.

The Pirates scored the only goal of the first period as Curtis Glencross netted his first goal since Nov. 1st on a real workman like play. Glencross drove to the net from the Pirates blueline, beating Sharks’ defenseman Garrett Stafford as he drove across the crease, slipping the puck underneath Sharks’ goaltender Nolan Schaefer at 3:26 of the first period. Nathan Saunders and Ryan Shannon were credited with assists on the play.

“Not scoring a goal in the last couple months, it was getting frustrating,â€? said Curtis Glencross. “Just trying to be positive the last couple of weeks during practice. The biggest thing was getting a fresh start, going back home [for the holidays]. It definitely lifts a burden off my shoulders; I hope to keep it going.â€?

The Pirates weakest period this season has been the second, but despite being outshot 15-7 the Pirates built a 3-1 lead on solid goaltending and special team play.

“[Wall] had a better game, we needed him to make those big saves and he did,â€? said Pirates coach Kevin Dineen. “He did a good job for us [tonight].

At 13:09, the Pirates built a 2-0 lead while Mathieu Darche was serving two minutes for holding. Colby Genoway shoveled the puck to Ryan Shannon at the bottom of the right face-off circle. Shannon’s shot squirted past Schaefer where Pirates’ forward Matt Keith tapped the puck into the open net.

Worcester found themselves in the box again as Brad Staubitz was called for cross-checking at 16:49 of the second period. Just 41 seconds later, Curtis Glencross scored his second goal of the night, redirecting Clay Wilson’s shot from the high slot to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead.

With 46 seconds left in the period, the Sharks would snap Pirates’ goaltender Mike Wall’s shutout bid when Garrett Stafford scored his fifth goal of the season on the power play. The Pirates were down a man due to Brian Salcido serving two minutes for slashing. The Sharks worked the puck down low, creating a scrum around Wall. The puck trickled to the top of the crease where Stafford batted the puck between Wall’s legs.

That would be all the offense for the Sharks as the Pirates played a well rounded game in the third period despite only having three shots on goal.

Sometimes a losing streak is a positive thing because it can pull a team closer together.

“We learned a lot from that losing streak, but I think the biggest factor is we have so much inexperience in our lineup,” said Konopka. “Just in four or five games it’s a gamble in your head to take away the space [in the play] because you could be exposed, but now we have some confidence, we’ve taken away the space and play aggressive. That just part of learning and how young players learn the game.â€?

Mike Wall returned to form, making 29 saves for the win; Nolan Schaefer fell to 5-8-2, making 17 saves in the loss.

Plank Notes:
– Geoff Peters returned to the line up for the first time in 33 games since having surgery to repair a sports hernia. Peters was held scoreless, but had a fight at the 19:58 mark of the first period against Brad Staubitz.
– Ryan Shannon in his return to Portland, added three more assists to his totals. Just in two games, he scored five points (1 goal, 4 assists).
– In attendance at the game was Anaheim Ducks GM Brian Burke.
– The Pirates return to action tomorrow taking on the Manchester Monarchs at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Game Time is 7:05pm.

Three Stars of the Game:
1. POR – Curtis Glencross (2G, +1)
2. POR – Mike Wall (30SH/29SV)
3. POR – Ryan Shannon (3A, +1)

Shots by Period:
POR 10-7-3=20
WOR 5-15-10=30

Goals by Period:
POR 1-2-0=3
WOR 0-1-0=2

Power Play Summary:
Portland Pirates PP – 2-for-8
Worcester Sharks PP – 1-for-7

Scoring Summary:
1. POR Glencross, (3) (Saunders, Shannon), 3:26
2. POR Keith, (4) (Shannon, Genoway), 13:09 (PP)
2. POR Glencross, (4) (Wilson, Shannon), 17:30 (PP)
2. WOR Stafford, (5) (Mink, Iggulden), 19:14 (PP)

Penalty Summary:
1 – WOR Stafford, 5:17 – Holding , 2 min (PP)
1 – POR Glencross, 10:01 – Interference , 2 min (PP)
1 – WOR Armstrong, 12:18 – Goaltender interference , 2 min (PP)
1 – POR Gillies, 16:28 – Roughing , 2 min (PP)
1 – WOR Staubitz, 19:58 – Fighting , 5 min
1 – POR Peters, 19:58 – Fighting , 5 min
1 – WOR Olson, 20:00 – Fighting , 5 min
1 – POR Gillies, 20:00 – Fighting , 5 min
2 – WOR Ferguson, 2:46 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
2 – WOR Evans, 3:42 – Elbowing , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Peters, 6:29 – Interference , 2 min (PP)
2 – WOR Darche, 12:15 – Holding , 2 min (PP)
2 – WOR Staubitz, 16:49 – Cross-checking , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Salcido, 17:44 – Slashing , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Glencross, 0:57 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
3 – WOR Rome, 1:16 – Interference , 2 min (PP)
3 – WOR Iggulden, 6:23 – Elbowing , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Salcido, 8:02 – Interference , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Amadio, 8:33 – Slashing , 2 min (PP)
3 – WOR Ferguson, 10:59 – Fighting , 5 min
3 – POR Glencross, 10:59 – Fighting , 5 min

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