Maine Hockey Journal

Devils send Pirates soul searching

Portland, ME – The Pirates are officially in a slump.

Portland has lost five of their last seven games, including three straight with Friday night’s, 4-1 loss to the Lowell Devils.

It’s left the Pirates searching for answers in order to cure their woes, but at least their looking in the right places for the answers. After the game, the Pirates held a close door meeting, which lasted about 25 minutes in order to address several issues plaguing the team as of late.

“We’re on a little bit of a slump, but nothing is going to get ourselves out of it, but ourselves,” said Joe Callahan. “You can always come up with a theory or reason why you’re losing or winning, but it comes down to accountability… Every one has to be accountable for themselves, once you do that you’re accountable as a team.”

In the last three games, the Pirates have been outscored 13-4 including a 3-0 shutout in Manchester on Wednesday night and nearly being held off the board again last night, until Jay Leach scored with about a minute left in the game.

“It’s adversity for our team,” Callahan said. “Every team as to go through it, winning teams have got to go through some stuff. It’s not the best time, but sometimes when stuff happens, you come out with a stronger team with more character.”

Having guys like Joe Callahan is reassuring that this is a slump that will not last long because as long as the players are willing to look in the mirror and accept responsibility for their actions, the rest of the problems will sort themselves out.

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The Pirates are building up a little bit of an injury ward with several players out of action for an extended period of time. Eric Weinrich is still a while away from returning due a fracture of his orbital bone, Geoff Peters is out with a knee injury, Drew Miller is recovering from a high ankle sprain, which could keep him from the remainder of the regular season and Andy Schneider has foot injury.

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The Pirates signed defenseman John De Gray to an ATO after his Brampton Battalion was eliminated from the OHL playoffs, 4-1 to the Barrie Colts. De Gray is the Anaheim Ducks third round draft pick (83rd overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Pirates also released Jimmy Russo from his ATO without playing a game.

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