Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates Still Be-Deviled in Overtime

Portland, Maine – The Portland Pirates have earned at least a point in seven out of their last eight games, but continued to struggle in overtime and the shootout to get the win and two points. Coming into a crucial game against Lowell on Sunday where they needed to pick up the win in regulation because they are only a single point behind Lowell and Worcester, currently tied for fourth place.

For the second night in a row, Portland lost after having a two-goal lead as Lowell Devils beat the Pirates in overtime 3-2 in front of 5,364 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The game got interesting after a scoreless first period when Garett Bembridge cut to the front of the net on a breakaway, but was awarded a penalty shot as being tripped up by a Devils player. The penalty shot was the first of the year for Portland. Bembridge came in with some fancy stick work and beat Lowell goaltender Frank Doyle with a low backhand shot at 6:17 of second period to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

Mike Hoffman notched his first goal as a Pirate at the 13:19 mark of the second period. Trevor Gillies fired a shot from just inside the blueline; Hoffman, skating to the net, deflected the puck by Doyle for his seventh goal of the season. Gillies has three points in his last two games since returning from his stint with the Augusta Lynx.

“When I got sent down to Augusta [coaching staff] told me to get in shape and not really fight,” said Gillies. “I got to play a lot and I got a lot more confidence. It was tough to swallow [being sent down to Augusta], but I think that it was a good move in the end by the coaching staff.”

Lowell’s Tuomas Pihlman cut the lead in half with his fifth goal of the year at 4:52 of the third period; however, Pihlman wasn’t finished as he scored his second goal of the afternoon with 4:33 left in the game, tying it at 2-2. He sent a rocket from just inside the blueline that went over Caron’s shoulder and hit the cross bar, dropping into the net.

The game still tied after 60 minutes would head to overtime.

At 2:12, Pirates center Geoff Peters, called for holding. The Devils moved the puck around the ice til it found the stick of Chris Minard, alone to the right of Caron, sent the puck upstairs for his team leading 23rd goal of the season.

“We are searching for goals right now,” said Pirates’ Coach Kevin Dineen. “Bembridge had a good goal on the penalty shot today. Gillies went down to Augusta and found his confidence and has come back a more complete player.”

Plank Notes:
– Joe Rullier and Petteri Wirtanen are both day-to-day with lower body injuries.
-J.B. Bitner was traded back to the Anaheim Ducks from the Dallas Stars today. He has been assigned to Augusta
– Pirates are in action next on Saturday March 3rd against the Manchester Monarchs at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Game time is 7:05pm.

Three Stars of the Game:
1. LOW – Chris Minard
2. POR – Garett Bembridge
3. LOW – Tuomas Pihlman

Shots on Goal:
POR: 11-5-4-1=21
LOW: 5-5-7-2=19

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

Power Play Summary:
Portland Pirates PP – 0-for-4
Lowell Devils PP – 1-for-8

Scoring Summary:
2. POR Bembridge, (4) , 6:17 (PEN/SH)
2. POR Hoffman, (7) (Gillies, Caron), 13:19
3. LOW Pihlman, (5) (Marshall, Ryznar), 4:52
3. LOW Pihlman, (6) (Ryznar, Marshall), 15:27
OT. LOW Minard, (23) (Mottau, Tallackson), 2:39 (PP)

Penalty Summary:
1- LOW Vrana, 3:04 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
1 – LOW Foster, 6:45 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
1 – POR Keith, 7:36 – Tripping , 2 min (PP)
1 – LOW Magnan, 16:28 – Holding , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Melin, 0:05 – Tripping , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Hoffman, 2:51 – Kneeing , 2 min (PP)
2 – LOW Voros, 7:28 – Fighting , 5 min
2 – LOW Voros, 7:28 – Match – Fighting with illegal equipment (47.14), 10 min (PP)
2 – POR Amadio, 7:28 – Fighting , 5 min
2 – POR Gillies, 13:30 – Holding , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Keith, 0:38 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Weinrich, 1:46 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
3 – LOW Magnan, 8:46 – Roughing , 2 min
3 – POR Carter, 8:46 – Roughing , 2 min
3 – POR Rome, 17:57 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
OT – POR Peters, 2:12 – Holding , 2 min (PP)
OT – POR Served By , 2:39 – Gross misconduct – Bench , 10 min

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