Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates Sink to New Lows

Portland, ME – The struggle continues…

For the Portland Pirates, the simplest task seems daunting these days as they continue to struggle with their demons. The Pirates would build a two-goal lead, but the Wolf Pack scored four unanswered goals as they defeated the Pirates 5-4 in front of 4,353 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

“It’s easy to come into the room after games where everything goes your way, but it’s a totally different feeling when everything seems to being wrong for you right now,” said Pirates’ center Tim Brent. “Anaheim had its own [slump] going on for a little while [and] sometimes it something you have to take a step back before you can take two forward. You have to realize what we have in [the locker room] and what it’s going to take to win hockey games especially in this division. Games are so tight, one bad play or one mistake can be the difference in a hockey game. To have [Hartford] up by a goal and lose in regulation is something that can’t happen, if we what to be a playoff contender.”

In the case of the Pirates simplifying their game to the bare basics, it appeared the Pirates found success as they won the first period.

“You have to take the game back to its simplest form,” said Brent. “Once you get a few wins under your belt, you can get that confidence and things start working for you. You can start taking those riskier plays.”

It didn’t look so promising; however as the Wolf Pack found the back of net only 12 seconds into the period.

Daniel Girardi, carrying the puck into the zone, sent a centering pass to Nigel Dawes, who let a quick wrist shot go from just inside the left hash-mark, beating Pirates’ goaltender Michael Wall stick side.

The Pirates would rebound midway into the period as Colby Genoway scored his seventh of the season. Matt Keith fired the initial shot on goal, but Colby Genoway almost over skated the rebound, but managed to get his stick on the puck, firing the shot in the slot, beating Wolf Pack goaltender Al Montoya at 11:15 of the period.

At 16:07, Tim Brent put the Pirates up 2-1 as he split the Wolf Pack defenders, beating Montoya five-hole. Clay Wilson and Zenon Konopka were credited with assists on the play.

Just 1:18 into the second period, Pirates right wing Colby Genoway scored his second goal of the night, giving the Pirates a 3-1 lead as he fired a shot from the goal line toward the net, deflecting off Wolf Pack defenseman Daniel Girardi. Geoff Peters was credited with his first point of the season with an assist on the play.

That was the Pirates high-point as the keel of the ship fell completely apart.

“We’re a fragile bunch and that’s a tough way to play a game, said Pirates Head Coach Kevin Dineen. “When you’re over thinking, overworking and under performing, a lot of things are wrapped up into a lack of confidence and it’s showing on ice and on the scoreboard.”

Hartford pulled to within one goal at 3-2 while on the power play with 4:10 left in the second period. With Tim Brent serving two minutes for holding, Bryce Lampman, parked at the left face-off circle, connected with a cross-ice pass from Nigel Dawes, beating Michael Wall.

The Pirates had a chance to regain the lead early in the first minute of the third period as Ryan Shannon found himself alone at the right goal post, but lifted the puck into Montoya’s glove.

On the ensuing face-off, Brandon Dubinsky raced down the far boards into the Pack’s zone, ripping a shot on Wall, who made the first save, but Lauri Korpikoski slammed the rebound by Wall to tie the game at 3-3 just 1:25 into the third period.

Midway into the third period, Dave Liffiton scored his first goal of the season, lifting the puck over a downed Michael Wall, giving the lead back to the Wolf Pack.

Again, undisciplined play put the Pirates a man down as Zenon Konopka was called for goaltending interference at 11:12 of the period. At 12:49, Hartford capitalized when Jarkko Immonen tried to send a pass to the front of Michael Wall’s crease, but it was deflected into the net, giving the Wolf Pack a 5-3 lead.

Portland tried to comeback as Bjorn Melin, in his second game since he was reassigned to the Pirates, fired a laser which beat Montoya to pull the Pirates to within a goal with 5:39 left in the game, but that was as close the Pirates would get.

Michael Wall faced 26 shots, stopping 21 in the loss, while Al Montoya continued to win against the Pirates with is third straight win, stopping 21 shots.

Plank Notes:
– Since Michael Leighton was claimed off waivers by the Nashville Predators, the Pirates are 6-9-1-3 in 19 games. Two of those wins came in a shootout as the Pirates have only won four games in regulation since Dec 2nd.
– Garett Bembridge was reassigned to Augusta of the ECHL yesterday.
– Ryan Carter was a healthy scratch for the first time this season; he missed three games in November due to a rib injury.
– The Pirates are certainly playing for their playoff lives at this point in the season as they will face the Providence Bruins in four of the next five games, beginning with a contest tomorrow night at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Game Time is 7:05pm.

Three Stars of the Game:
1. HFD – Nigel Dawes (1G, 2A)
2. POR – Colby Genoway (2G, +1)
3. HFD – Ivan Baranka (1A)

Shots on Goal:
POR 10-8-7=25
HFD 4-10-12=26

Goals by Period:
POR 2-1-1=4
HFD 1-1-3=5

Power Play Summary:
Portland Pirates PP – 0-for-5
Hartford Wolf Pack PP – 2-for-5

Scoring Summary:
1. HFD Dawes, ( 10 ) (Girardi), 0:12
1. POR Genoway, ( 7 ) (Wilson, Konopka), 11:15
1. POR Brent, ( 9 ) (Keith, Saunders), 16:07
2. POR Genoway, ( 8 ) (Peters, Skinner), 1:18
2. HFD Lampman, ( 4 ) (Dawes, Helminen), 15:50 (PP)
3. HFD Korpikoski, ( 6 ) (Dubinsky, Baranka), 1:25
3. HFD Liffiton, ( 1 ) (Dawes, Dubinsky), 9:55
3. HFD Immonen, ( 7 ) (Degon, Helminen), 12:49 (PP)
3. POR Melin, ( 8 ) (Shannon, Wilson), 14:21

Penalty Summary:
1 – POR Amadio, 1:43 – Tripping , 2 min (PP)
1 – HFD Immonen, 13:09 – Holding , 2 min (PP)
1 – HFD Dubinsky, 16:28 – High-sticking , 2 min (PP)
2 – HFD Byers, 1:35 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
2 – HFD Isbister, 13:00 – Fighting , 5 min
2 – POR Wilson, 13:00 – Fighting , 5 min
2 – POR Brent, 14:29 – Holding , 2 min (PP)
2 – HFD Served By Dubinsky, 17:10 – Bench minor – Too many men , 2 min (PP)
2 – HFD Liffiton, 20:00 – Roughing , 2 min
2 – POR Wilson, 20:00 – Roughing , 2 min
3 – POR Peters, 5:23 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Konopka, 11:12 – Goaltender interference , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Durno, 15:49 – Tripping , 2 min (PP)
3 – HFD Baranka, 16:47 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)

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