Maine Hockey Journal

McKenna quiets critics with third shutout off the season

Lowell, Mass. – This was a meaningless game for the Pirates as their regular season fate has already been sealed, but it was still an opportunity for Portland to build momentum as they head toward a first round match up against the Hartford Wolf Pack, beginning next week.

Speaking of building momentum, Mike McKenna needed to have a solid game prior to the playoffs, especially after losing his last four starts where he allowed 18 goals during that span.

Some could make the argument that he was fragile during that span or he lost some confidence because in all honesty confidence could be a goalie best friend when they have it and their worst enemy when they don’t, but that’s neither here nor there and it’s not even issue in McKenna’s eyes. However, for those want to make it an issue, he got it done last night, stopping 35 shots for his third shutout of the season.

“I go back and look at every goal and there are games where you let five, six or seven goals, and you look at them and maybe on a great night I would have stopped two of them,” said McKenna. “Often times people look at the score and go “whoa” this was a tough one.”

“I know when I’ve played a poor game.”

On the offensive side of the scoresheet, Mike Hoffman add two goals and Michal Birner scored on the power play as the Pirates gave McKenna all the offense he needed in this game.


Former Lewiston MAINEiacs forward Eric Castonguay was in the lineup for the Devils after being recalled from Trenton, where he spent this season. In 67 games with the T-Devils, he scored 27 goals, 37 assists for 64 points. Undrafted rookie spent three seasons in Lewiston as a member of the MAINEiacs, scoring 72 goals, 89 assists for 161 points. Castonguay was also a member of the MAINEiacs squad, which won the Presidents Cup trophy in the QMJHL last season.


The AHL are in the midst of handing out hardware this week.

Yesterday, Providence Bruins Head Coach Scott Gordon was named the recipient of the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2007-08 season. Gordon has led the Bruins to the best record in the American Hockey League (54-16-3-4) with three games remaining. Under Gordon’s tutelage, the Bruins have averaged 3.55 goals per game, which is ranked second in the AHL, while being ranked first in shots on goal (34.24) and fewest shots allowed per game (25.55). What’s more stunning is the Bruins are 32-0-0-0, when leading after two periods, a feat they’ve accomplished for the second year in a row.

After winning the Emile Francis Trophy as the Atlantic Division champions and the Frank S. Mathers Trophy as the regular-season champions of the Eastern Conference, the Bruins completed the trifecta as they captured the Macgregor Kilpatrick Award for the best overall record in the American Hockey League with a 6-1 win over the Worcester Sharks, last night. This is the second time Providence has captured the award in franchise history as they won the award back in 1999, ironically they would go on to win the Calder Cup that season.

At 54-16-3-4 with three games remaining, Providence enters the final weekend of the regular season with a chance to match the all-time AHL record for victories (57).

The AHL also handed out the Eddie Shore Award for best defenseman to Hartford Wolf Pack’s Andrew Hutchinson.

Hutchinson had a career year in Hartford, setting season highs with 18 goals, 46 assists and 64 points in 65 games. He’s tied for fifth in the league with a plus-25 rating and tied for first among AHL defensemen with 13 power-play goals.

Pirates’ Brian Salcido also received consideration for the award after having a solid season. He’s second in the league among defenseman with 53 points (11 goals, 42 assists) in 69 games in only his second professional season.

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