Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates Break Even on the Weekend

Portland, ME – If you can take positive out of this weekend, it would be the Pirates scored more four or more goals in a game, other than that, this weekend left the Pirates with a sour taste in their mouth.

Despite the Pirates having a 4-2 lead midway in the third period, Matt Keith scored the only goal in the shootout as the Portland Pirates narrowly edged the Worcester Sharks, 5-4 in front 3,608 at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Sunday afternoon.

Lukas Kaspar scored his fourth the season to pull the Sharks to within one goal at 12:31 in the third period. With Pirates’ goaltender Michael Wall down, Kaspar skated to the right side of the crease, lifting a backhander into the open-net.

With 2:36 left in the game, Steve Bernier notched his second point of the night, tying the game at 4-4. Bernier fired a shot on goal just to the left of Wall, it appeared like the Pirates’ netminder had made the save, but the puck trickled to the far post, beating Wall.

“That’s a game you get two points and you’re not overly happy with it, just because of the way the [game] played out,â€? said Pirates’ Coach Kevin Dineen. “We have a better level of hockey then we’ve shown in the last two weeks. There are some encouraging signs; we showed some offense [and] the ability to come back. We’ve played well in spurts.â€?

The Sharks grabbed a 1-0 lead as Graham Mink scored his sixth of the season at 11:12 of the first period, flipping the puck over Wall.

The Pirates answered with back-to-back goals early in the second period.

Matt Keith, finally adjusting to life with the Pirates since being traded, scored his fifth of the season, third in a Pirates uniform just 2:48 into the period. Brett Skinner fed the puck to Tim Brent, who collided with Ryan Shannon near the boards at center ice. Brent slid the puck to Keith streaking into the zone, firing a low wrist shot, beating Sharks’ goaltender Nolan Schaefer on the inside of the left post.

“It was a fresh start, said Pirates’ right wing Matt Keith, “I was excited in coming here, but at the same time I’ve been here for two and half weeks and finally getting settled in now. I expect a lot out myself [and] it helps [to] contribute here. The biggest thing the coaches were harping on were turnovers, limiting the little mistakes, it was good to get a win tonight.â€?

At 4:55, Brett Skinner put the Pirates up 2-1 as he fired a shot from the left point, beating Schaefer just over his right leg pad. Colby Genoway and Petteri Wirtanen were credited with assists on the play.

Worcester would tie the game at 2-2 as they worked the puck down low, Steve Bernier; from behind the net, found Tomas Plihal parked at the bottom of the left face-off dot, firing a one-timer by Wall with 6:25 left in the period.

The Pirates had several opportunities to blow the game open in the second period with the man advantage, a symbol of the weekend – and season – as the Pirates currently sit 20th in the league on the power play, going 1-for-17 on the weekend.

“There is a lot we have to address and things we have to work out,â€? said Dineen. “We don’t have a lot of time so you try to use all [assets] you can, but it’s up to the coaches to set a better example.â€?

In the third period, the Pirates got goals from Zenon Konopka and Brian Salcido as Portland scored four goals in a game for the first time since Dec 22nd (Portland scored four goals against Manchester on Jan 7th, but two were empty-net goals).

Konopka, on top of the goaltender’s crease dug the loose from Schaefer, flipping the shot into the net, giving the Pirates at 3-2 lead.

Brian Salcido, scored his fourth of the season when he fired a shot on Schaefer, who gave up a rebound right back to Salcido. He fired another shot on net, beating the Sharks netminder with 9:40 left in the game, putting the Pirates up 4-2.

Portland unable to hold the lead needed a shootout for the second straight game to decide the contest.

It would take all five rounds to decide the game in a shootout as Mike Wall stopped all five shooters for Worcester, leaving it up to Pirates’ right wing Matt Keith, who scored, beating Schaefer with a nice play to the gloveside.

Mike Wall made 24 saves as he tallied his ninth win on the season, while Nolan Schaefer stopped 33 of 37 shots in the loss.

Plank Notes:
– Ian Moran was a healthy scratch for the sixth straight game. He’s currently home in Boston awaiting resoultion with Anaheim Ducks.
– The Pirates are next in action on Wednesday at the Cumberland County Civic Center taking on the Manchester Monarchs. It’s the Pirates first Wednesday game at home this season, it’s only one of two they play all season. Game Time is 7:05pm.

Three Stars of the Game:
1. POR – Brian Salcido (1G, 1A, +1)
2. WOR – Steve Bernier (1G, 1A, +2)
3. POR – Zenon Konopka (1G, 1A, +1)

Shots on Goal:
POR: 6-12-13-6-1=38
WOR: 9-8-10-1-0=28

Goals by Period:
POR: 0-2-2-0-1=5
WOR: 1-1-2-0-0=4

Power Play Summary:
Portland Pirates PP – 0-for-5
Worcester Sharks PP – 0-for-2

Scoring Summary:
1. WOR Mink, (6) (Darche, Staubitz), 11:12
2. POR Keith, (5) (Brent, Skinner), 2:48
2. POR Skinner, (5) (Genoway, Wirtanen), 4:56
2. WOR Plihal, (4) (Evans, Bernier), 13:35
3. POR Konopka, (10) (Wilson, Salcido), 8:31
3. POR Salcido, (4) (Konopka, Miller), 10:20
3. WOR Kaspar, (4) (Spang, Prudden), 12:31
3. WOR Bernier, (2) (Plihal), 17:24

Penalty Summary:
1 – WOR Iggulden, 3:04 – Tripping , 2 min (PP)
1 – WOR Evans, 5:09 – Holding the stick , 2 min (PP)
1 – WOR Mink, 7:45 – Holding the stick , 2 min (PP)
1 – POR Shannon, 11:49 – Holding the stick , 2 min (PP)
2 – WOR Stafford, 6:37 – Roughing , 2 min
2 – POR Wilson, 6:37 – Roughing , 2 min
2 – WOR Traverse, 7:49 – Interference , 2 min (PP)
2 – WOR Stafford, 14:33 – Holding the stick , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Wirtanen, 15:09 – Holding the stick , 2 min (PP)
3 – WOR Evans, 10:32 – Fighting , 5 min
3 – POR Ferguson, 10:32 – Fighting , 5 min

Shootout Summary:
Brett Skinner – No Goal
Zenon Konopka – No Goal
Ryan Shannon – No Goal
Colby Genoway – No Goal
Matt Keith – Goal

Total: 1

Steve Bernier – No Goal
Mike Iggulden – No Goal
Mathieu Darche – No Goal
Ashton Rome – No Goal
Lukas Kaspar – No Goal

Total: 0

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