Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates prepare for opening night

Portland, ME – After a brisk morning skate at the Cumberland County Civic Center, the Pirates are ready for action tonight as they open the season against the Manchester Monarchs.

Pirates coach Kevin Dineen worked the players pretty hard on their breakout and pass protection schemes and I can say this team has some serious speed on the transition and it should make for a fun season.

For the last few days, Dineen has rolled the same four lines so I expect them to be the same for tonight’s game.

Mancari – Kennedy – Gerbe
Darche – Zagrapan – Murphy
Whitmore – Hunter – Bouck
Fretter – Schutz – Bonneau

Weber – Card
Butler – Baier
Kostka – Gragnani

Adam Dennis

Josh Vatri
Mike Funk (concussion symptoms)

Funk is now in Portland, but Dineen said he was going to be out for what could be an extended period of time. As for getting another defenseman, Dineen is looking, but right now, he has six healthy players on the blueline so he’ll go with that for now.

In goal, it was a little bit of a surprise to see Dennis getting the start in goal for Portland. I was expecting Enroth to get the start, but Dineen might was to just ease him into the AHL on the road before exposing him to the pressure of playing at home.

Don’t expect Buffalo to recall anybody as a result of Tim Connolly’s injury. Dineen said he was aware of what was going on with the Sabres, but didn’t expect anything at this time so as I said yesterday… Only time will tell.

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