Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates failed to play 60 minutes; need OT for victory

Portland, ME – The Pirates still have yet to play a full 60 minutes.

Eight games into the season they could easily find themselves at 1-4-1-2, rather then a record of 4-4-0-0, where they currently stand.

Portland pulled off the win tonight, 3-2, over the Worcester Sharks and looked like the dominate club in doing so, but yet, they didn’t muster a full 60 minutes, allowing the Sharks to get back into a game they should have never been in.

Worcester was outplayed, outwitted, and out muscled, but for a 20-minute lapse, the Sharks managed to get two goals from turnovers, which could have proved costly.

In the first period, Portland outshot Worcester 12-5 and held 1-0 lead after Matt Christie connected on a sweet cross-ice pass from Brian Salcido.

Christie, back with the Pirates after being recalled from the Augusta Lynx of the ECHL, certainly made the most of his opportunity.

In three games with the Lynx, he scored four points (1G, 3A) during that span and was an offensive weapon for Augusta. With the injuries in Anaheim, it was a matter of time before he would get his shot with Portland and he wanted to make the best of it.

Another player, who has continued to impress has been Andrew Ebbett. From the time he sign a contract with the Ducks back in May, he’s shown that he’s a real leader on this team. In eight games, he scored 10 points (3G, 7A), he leads the team in scoring, and he’s tied for third in AHL scoring. Better yet, he’s only had two minor penalties called against him so far this season. Ebbett has proven to be responsible on the ice and still go into the ugly areas on ice. Dineen hasn’t picked a captain yet, but he’d have to be an early season candidate.

Ebbett picked up the assists on Bobby Ryan’s goal as well as the overtime goal.

Just moments before the OT goal, Ebbett had a beautiful shot at the bottom of the left face-off circle, but clanged one off the post.

He wasn’t going to make that mistake again as he skated into the zone and from the same spot ripped the shot, beating Greiss, who didn’t have a chance at stopping the shot.

Speaking of Bobby Ryan, what is up with this kid?!?!!

He’s a great talent; no one is disputing that fact. He’s putting up points, he scored the tying goal for the Pirates, but yet I feel like I’ve just hooked my nipples up to a set of live jumper cables after watching him. (No, I’ve never tried, but I know people who can find many uses for jumper cables – I recommend that not be one of them.)

He’s just frustrating to watch, because he has the appearance that he really doesn’t give a damn on the ice, he’s looks like he out for a Sunday drive, checking out the foliage in New England.

He’s 6-1, 221-pounds and he should be creating havoc around the Pirates’ net, but he’s off grazing in the pasture, trying to be cute with the puck, and do circus tricks.

Hey Bobby,

You want to do tricks, join the circus.

Another clown on the ice the last month has been Aaron Rome. His play has not been good at all. Let me say, I think he’s a great person off the ice and in the community. I’ve been a supporter of his for the last two years, but his play has not been where he should be.

Especially, for someone who is on the trading block and could be traded.

In tonight’s game against the Sharks, his failure to clear the puck and a bad outlet pass led to both goals for the Sharks.

On the first goal, he was trying to clear the puck out of the zone and instead of banking up the glass and out for either a forward to take or to just relieve the pressure that Worcester was applying, he put it right into a scrum of players. The puck came out to Mike Iggulden, who had an unobstructed 1-on-0 with Jonas Hiller. Unfortunately, Hiller was in a helpless situation, as Iggulden stuffed it between the legs of Hiller to tie the game at 1-1 just 37 seconds into the period.

Later, Rome’s turnover allowed Riley Armstrong to walk in alone on a 2-on-0 with no hope for Hiller to make that save.

Facts don’t lie.

Rome has been on the ice for 14 of 23 goals scored against the Pirates, he’s currently a minus-6 on a team that he’s expected to produce.

Remember, I said earlier about a trade. That’s right; he could have been packaged and dealt for a forward who might be able to help Anaheim right now. Pittsburgh has been scouting him for the last several games, but how in good conscience can Kevin Stevens (currently scouting for Pittsburgh) go back to Penguins GM Ray Shero and tell him with a straight face that Rome could be an NHL defenseman with the way he’s played over the last month.

I remember not so long ago, Dineen sitting a young Shane O’Brien when his performance was up to standards and it didn’t hurt his development.

Last topic of discussion – Jonas Hiller

Hiller played well in his first AHL game; he could have had a shutout if it wasn’t for a couple defensive breakdowns. He was just happy to be playing after spending the last three weeks in the Anaheim, doing little more than practicing.

It’s finally nice for Portland to have their own Jason LaBarbera, somebody who they can rely on to give a solid game, every game. For too long, Pirates fans have held their collective breath when a goalie took to the ice because they didn’t know what they were getting.

We can all remember the insurance salesman or the dude the Pirates picked up on interstate on their way to Hartford a couple years ago. Pirates’ fans only have to look at a list of who’s who in Nathan Marsters, Mike Wall, Gregg Naumenko, Dieter Kochan and Dov Grumet-Morris.

Nobody knows how long Hiller will be in Portland, but as long as he’s here, questions about the lack of goaltending should cease.

Pirates are back in action tomorrow, taking on the Manchester Monarchs as they try for their first road win of the season. Game time is 7:05.

Official Scoresheet

Game Recap from PortlandPirates.com

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