Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates march Penguins out of Portland; Ebbett’s going to Binghamton

A major injustice has been righted by the AHL.

Earlier today, before the Pirates took to the ice against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Andrew Ebbett was named to the Canadian AHL-Star team for the upcoming AHL All-Star Classic, which will take place in Binghamton, N.Y. on Monday Jan. 28.

How about an “It’s about time” from the crowd.

As the Pirates’ leading scorer, he’s near the top of most major scoring categories in the AHL. He’ll be joined by Bobby Ryan and Brian Salcido, who will suit up for the opposing PlanetUSA team.

“We’re really happy for him,” said Dineen. “He was a bit disappointed to not be named (earlier), but you understand that Jim Mills (AHL Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations) has a hard job in making those decisions. If you look at the course of the first 40 games, I think Andrew Ebbett is big part of any success we’ve had and a well deserved all-star berth for him.”

Now there was a game tonight at the CCCC and the Pirates managed to pull of a 2-1 victory against a very strong group of Penguins. Wilkes-Barre earlier in the day received three players back from Pittsburgh including former Pirate Tim Brent.

It was nice to see Timmy and know that he’s really doing well for himself. He’s one of those players who I developed a close working bond with during his time in Portland.

This was game where Portland was in control for the most part, but they just allowed the Penguins enough life to stay in the game, really giving the Pirates a headache.

The Pirates outshot the Penguins 16-8 after one period of play, but trailed 1-0 on a goal from Nathan Smith. The Pirates had their chances, as Wilkes Barre loved to pinch their defense down, which is not their game.

“We tried to establish a game that hasn’t been our (style) all season,” said Brent. “We tried to do too much and Portland is so fast and talented up front that if we turn the puck over they have it all night.”

That was really the game in a nutshell.

The Pirates did a good job into forcing the Penguins into the first move, which resulted into turnovers and odd man rushes. Unfortunately, the Pirates could never capitalize because they tried to get too cute with the puck.

Drew Miller finally got the Pirates on the board in the second period. Again, it was a turnover, which created an odd-man rush, but this time they finished it off with the goal.

Speaking of Miller, he’s been good for Portland since his arrival. After spending much of the first half of season in Anaheim, he could have taken being sent to Portland rather hard, but instead he’s accepted it and has used that to his advantage. It showed tonight with him scoring the tying and go-ahead goals.

Notes: Brian Salcido missed his second game with what is being termed an “upper body” injury.

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