Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates are forced to walk the plank by new rivals.

By CJ Nordenson, Special to MVN

Portland, Maine – The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks rivalry has started to spill over into the AHL. The Portland Pirates, the affiliate of the Ducks and the Manchester Monarchs, the affiliate of the Kings met for the eighth time this season on Wednesday. The distaste for each other has become more and more evident over the season.

“It’s intense playing against Portland,” said Monarchs goaltender Jason LaBarbera. “It’s a divisional game and you play them 10 to 12 times a year, you’re bound to hate them.”

The Pirates fell to the Monarchs 6-0 on Wednesday night in front of 4,608 fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Despite the lost, the Pirates almost doubled the Monarchs’ shots on goal. The Monarchs scored four power play goals while Jason LaBarbera recorded his league-leading fifth shutout in another stellar performance in the win against the Pirates.

“We wouldn’t be where we are without LaBarbera,” said Manchester Head Coach Mark Morris. “He’s having a stellar year and he makes the game look pretty darn easy.”

Both teams came out looking strong and had a few chances on the power play to take the early lead. The Monarchs took the lead late in the first period as Matt Ryan beat Pirates’ goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris high on the gloveside at the 14:31 mark.

Bjorn Melin was called for tripping at 1:59 in the second period. Manchester would capitalize on the man advantage to extend their lead to 2-0 as Matt Moulson tipped the puck in off a rebound.

Pirates’ enforcer Trevor Gillies dropped the mitts on the ensuing face-off trying to inspire his team. He faced off against a familiar opponent, Mike Hoffman. Both players received five minutes for fighting, but Gillies would get an extra two minutes for roughing because of his punch before Hoffman dropped the gloves.

Portland had another chance on the power play to get back within one goal. They had some great chances, but were unable to get it past LaBarbera. The Pirates struggles on the power play would prove to hurt them in the end as they were 0-for-4 on the night for power plays.

Manchester scored their second power play goal at 13:28 of the second period. Wilson had gone to the box just eight seconds before the goal for holding. Moulson walked in untouched send a wrist shot over the shoulder of Grumet-Morris, giving the Monarchs as 3-0 lead.

As the second period came to an end, both teams started to scrum at center ice, Tim Brent and Gabe Gauthier exchanged a few punches before getting separated. As they went off the ice a fight broke out between Aaron Rome and Doug Nolan. Gauthier and Brent received matching minors for roughing, while Rome and Nolan each received 10 minute misconducts and five minutes for fighting.

The third period was no better for the Pirates, about two minutes into the period; Patrick O’Sullivan had a breakaway, scoring for the Monarchs as they extended the lead to 4-0.

Tim Jackman would add two more power play goals in the third period. Grumet-Morris was pulled in favor of Mike Wall after the sixth goal. Wall faced two shots, making two saves.

The rivalry picked up again in the third period as Mike Hoffman and Zenon Konopka danced at 13:27. Trevor Gillies had his second bout of the evening, taking on newly acquired Paul Crosty, who appeared in his first game with the Monarchs after being signed to a PTO.

Gillies and Konopka were unable to light the fire for the Pirates as they fell hard against Manchester

“Unfortunately for our fans we didn’t really give them anything to cheer about tonight,” said Pirates’ Coach Kevin Dineen. “Our frustration level was undisciplined and there were a lot of things that just happened through lack of focus.”

Plank Notes:
– After the halfway point of the season, the Pirates currently sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 20-14-1-5 for 46 points, this time last year the Pirates had a record of 29-9-3-2 for 60 points.
– Ian Moran was a healthy scratch for the sixth straight game. He’s currently home in Boston awaiting resolution with Anaheim Ducks.
– Bjorn Melin was reassigned earlier in the day to the Pirates by the Anaheim Ducks. He arrived shortly before the pre-game skate and was in the line up against the Monarchs.
– The Pirates are next in action on Friday against the Hartford Wolf Pack at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Game Time is 7:05pm.

Three Stars of the Game:
1. MCH – 35 Jason LaBarbera
2. MCH – 15 Tim Jackman
3. MCH – 39 Matt Moulson

Shots on Goal:
POR: 9-15-8=32
MCH: 4-5-8=17

Goals by Period:
POR: 0-0-0=0
MCH: 1-2-3=6

Power Play Summary:
Portland Pirates PP – 0-for-4
Manchester Monarchs PP – 4-for-8

Scoring Summary:
1. MCH Ryan, (3) (Weaver, Stephenson), 14:31
2. MCH Moulson, (10) (Clarke,Kemp), 3:08 (PP)
2. MCH Moulson, (11) (Clarke, Gauthier), 13:28 (PP)
3. MCH O’Sullivan, (16), 1:56
3. MCH Jackman, ( 8 ) (Kemp,Stephenson), 10:03 (PP)
3. MCH Jackman, (9) (Mormina, O’Sullivan), 12:14 (PP)

Penalty Summary:
1 – POR Brent, 1:02 – Holding , 2 min (PP)
1 – MCH Hoffman, 4:05 – Tripping , 2 min (PP)
1 – POR Peters, 6:40 – Roughing , 2 min (PP)
1 – POR Amadio, 11:40 – Slashing , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Gillies, 3:12 – Roughing , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Gillies, 3:12 – Fighting , 5 min
2 – MCH Stephenson, 6:53 – Holding , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Wilson, 13:20 – Holding , 2 min (PP)
2 – MCH Nolan, 16:07 – Roughing , 2 min (PP)
2 – MCH Gauthier, 20:00 – Roughing , 2 min
2 – MCH Nolan, 20:00 – Fighting , 5 min
2 – MCH Nolan, 20:00 – Misconduct , 10 min
2 – POR Brent, 20:00 – Roughing , 2 min
2 – POR Rome, 20:00 – Fighting , 5 min
2 – POR Rome, 20:00 – Misconduct , 10 min
3 – POR Salcido, 9:52 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Melin, 10:18 – Roughing , 2 min (PP)
3 – MCH Hoffman, 13:27 – Fighting , 5 min
3 – POR Konopka, 13:27 – Fighting , 5 min
3 – MCH Crosty, 16:35 – Fighting , 5 min
3 – POR Gillies, 16:35 – Fighting , 5 min

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