Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates head home down 0-2

This was not the response the Pirates were looking for, down 1-0, in the best-of-seven series to the Providence Bruins.

The Bruins handed the Pirates a 7-1 defeat on Sunday afternoon, taking a stranglehold, as the series will now take a bit of a breather – not a moment too soon either – before heading up I-95 to resume on Friday.

For all intent and purpose, this series was decided last night when it was learned that J.S. Aubin was going to miss game one with an apparent injury. Later, after the game Kevin Dineen said it was a maintenance day and Aubin would be day-to-day and as such, he wasn’t dress again today.

It’s not to take anything away from Mike McKenna, who has play admirably this season, but Aubin was the “man”. He was going to be counted to steal a game or two, if the Pirates were going to have any success.

Although, the Pirates aren’t dead yet, they’re on life support, the pulse is quickly fading and it’s time to start planning the funeral for the terminal disease called the Providence Bruins.

The Bruins, who have been the top team in the American Hockey League all season long has made life miserable for their opponents, and the Pirates are quickly finding out the Providence Bruins mean business.

It’s not to say the Pirates should roll over and play dead by any stretch of the imagination, but they certainly haven’t looked like the team that took care of the Hartford Wolf Pack in five games.

So far, this series has seen the Pirates get outscored 11-1, while also being outshot 74-to-47.

They haven’t been able to get any traffic in front of the Bruins, but the bigger issue is the Pirates ability to hand the Bruins attack first mentality. They’ve had a difficult time – to put it mildly – of handling the Bruins transition game and that’s counted for half the Bruins offense so far this series.

Jay Leach, who played part of four seasons for the Bruins, knows what they’ll bring to the table.

“(Providence) gets right on you,” he said. “You really have to have good support all over the ice because they forecheck extremely hard.”

When the Pirates return to Portland next Friday for game three, four and five (if necessary), it will most likely be the last time the you’ll see this group players on the ice for the Pirates as next season it’s expected to be the Buffalo Sabres providing the talent here in Portland. It’s expected the Anaheim will relocate to Des Moines, Iowa for next season after it was announced earlier this week that Dallas and Iowa were going there separate ways.

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