Maine Hockey Journal

Ryan leads Pirates to victory; series lead

Portland, ME – As the series shifted to the Cumberland County Civic Center for Game 3 of the best-of-seven series, the Pirates received an offensive boost as Bobby Ryan returned to the line up, leading the Pirates to a 3-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday night, taking a 2-1 lead in first-round action.

Ryan’s return wasn’t a moment too soon after spending the last month and a half with the Ducks, but despite being sent to the minors, he was very happy to be wearing a Pirates sweater again.

“When I talked to (Ducks’ GM Brian Burke) yesterday,” said Ryan. “I kind of told him I wanted to see things through here. I went to work with these guys all year and even though I played 23 or 24 for games up there, I still felt like this is the series I wanted to be part of. And I’m glad I am.”

Ryan would spur the offense as he tallied a goal and an assist in his return, but more importantly and something that I’ve been harping on for days now is the fact that with Ryan being back in the line up, it’s helped get Pirates’ forward Geoff Platt going in this series. After going the last 13 games without a goal, Platt has come back to have two goals and an assists in the last two games.

“That makes a difference,” said Dineen about Platt reuniting with Ryan. “That’s a honey hole and (Platt) and I’ve talked the last couple days that I think he has to look at it that when people come on his line that that’s a honey hole. It’s what I call those spots when you get put on a high end line and he needs to stand up and start playing like that and so far he’s done that the last two games.”

With the addition of Ryan, the Pirates also saw the return of Drew Miller after missing the last 12 games with an ankle injury. While, he didn’t figure into the scoresheet, Miller gave the Pirates solid defensive play when they needed it down the stretch, especially in the third period in a one-goal game.

The Pirates built a 2-0 lead on goals by Platt and Ryan in first period, but the Wolf Pack capitalized on breakdowns by the Pirates, in their own zone, to tied the game, 2-2, midway into the second period before Jason King put the Pirates up for good.

In the third period, thing were kicked up a notch as Emeril Lagasse would say – can you believe his show is being canceled – with the physical play, but the Pirates’ held serve.

With the game’s final buzzer, Hugh Jessiman felt it was necessary to use the butt-end of his stick as a weapon on Pirates’ forward Andrew Ebbett, catching him right in the face. Obliviously, his teammates came to his aid and a small melee ensued on the ice, most notably between Pierre Parenteau – who wants to be called P.A., but he’ll always be my little Pierre – and Bruno St. Jacques.

Joe Callahan found himself at the bottom of a two-man pile in corner with Jessiman.

For the Wolf Pack, I hate to use the word “dirty” to describe them, but rather chaotic frustration on their part. They knew they had the Pirates on the ropes for about a seven-minute stretch in the second period and they failed to close the deal. They had several opportunities late in the third period, but the Pirates closed the door and frustration boiled over.

That’s hockey and those things happen, but issues has to be taken with the context in which the hit to Ebbett was given. Ebbett is one of the more mild mannered guys on the team and with the game no longer in doubt, Jessiman skating to his bench just launch the end of his stick into the face of Ebbett. Referee Chris Brown missed the whole, which is no surprise there, but one of the linesmen had to pick up the play.

I would not be surprised if Jessiman is suspended for rest of the series, as he should be because although there was no match penalty for intent to injure, it was obviously clear that Jessiman was looking to clean somebody out and it just happened to Ebbett, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply