Maine Hockey Journal

Portland @ Springfield — Live Game Blog

All is quiet here in Springfield at the moment. The Pirates are doing off-ice warmups and getting ready to take to the ice for the pregame skate. Don’t expect many changes for the Pirates. Maybe we’ll see Jhonas Enroth in net tomorrow against Providence, but Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen wasn’t tipping his hand and neither were the goalies. This Springfield Falcons team looks improved from a year ago, especially up front in the forward category as Carl Corazzini, Gilbert Brule and Derek Bekar are all new to the lineup this season.

If there is one weakness for the Falcons, it will be on goal with Glenn Fisher and Devan Dubnyk trying to keep the puck out.

6:28pm – Looks like Dennis will get his second start of the season. That would lead me to believe Enroth may get the start tomorrow unless Dennis lights out tonight.

6:34pm – Lines look a little similar compared to the game against Manchester last week.
Mancari – Kennedy – Gerbe
Darche – Zagrapan – Murphy
Whitmore – Bouck – Hunter
Bonneau – Schutz – Fretter

Not an exact science, but it looks like the defensive pairings are going to be:
Butler – Baier
Weber – Card
Gragnani – Kostka

6:46pm – Just bumped into Pirates owner Brian Petrovek, only for a brief moment, but I couldn’t help but get the feeling I was just watching Slap Shot. (Remember Joe McGrath?)

6:59pm – Introductions for the Falcons are taking place. The crowd looks to be ok… nothing large, but it’s a boisterous crowd.

7:06pm — Introductions are over as is the anthem and the Falcons are throwing some firepower at the Pirates right on the first shift. Starting for Springfield is Tim Sestito, Carl Corazzini and Derek Bekar up front with Jake Taylor and Mike Gabinet on defense. The starting goaltender for the Falcons is Devin Dubnyk. For the Pirates, it’s the line of Bouck, Hunter and Whitmore getting the start with Gragnani and Kostka on the backend.

7:15pm — Pirates win the opening face-off. They send it off the glass, out of play. On the ensuing face-off, Gerbe got a good look at Dubnyk with the puck going out of play. He’s a feisty little bugger, wanting to take on 6-1 Bryan Young.

7:19pm — Mike Gabinet turned the puck to Bouck for the point blank shot, but he couldn’t get it off his stick as Dubnyk had to pounce on it. Jimmy Bonneau and Hans Benson get five minutes for fighting; Pirates get the power play because Benson hit Bonneau from behind, which started the fight.

7:24pm – Springfield shorthanded, get a two on one with Mike Gabinet getting a quick shot off, but Adam Dennis was able to slide over to make the amazing save.

7:27pm — Pirates back to the PP — Sebastian Bisaillion goes off for boarding. Darche and Murphy have really good chemistry together. working the give and go.

7:29pm – Pirates score on a tip by Colin Fretter, assisted by Kostka and Gragnani. Portland goes right back on the PP as Gabinet is called for cross-checking. The Falcons are very undiscipline so far.

7:31pm – Make that 2-0 for Portland – Gerbe in the slot from Kennedy. Portland is outshooting Springfield 6-1 in the nine minutes of the game.

7:34pm – Portland back on the PP as Jake Taylor goes off for interference.

7:36pm – Tyler Bouck will even things up for Portland as he’s going for holding. The Falcons will get a PP for 1:07.

7:40pm — If Springfield wants any hope of getting back into this, they need to stop taking stupid penalties because Portland’s speed is exposing the Falcons defense…. badly. As I say that, Derek Bekar goes to the box for hooking.

7:46pm — With 3:53 left in the period, Colin Murphy goes off for high-sticking. A scrum takes place in front of Dennis as he falls on the puck — new rule this year in the NHL and AHL, when a team goes on the PP, the face-off takes place in their offensive zone.

7:50pm — In what could be a real momentum changer, the Falcons scored on a goal by Colin McDonald with just 18 seconds left in the period. Robbie Schremp made the long cross-ice pass to McDonald, who ripped the shot under the crossbar from the left face-off circle. Those are usually the type of goals that kill you over the course of the game. We’ll see how the Pirates respond early in the second period, see if they can get that one back.

8:08pm — Second period is underway. Let’s see if Portland can regain the momentum they had in the first before giving up that late goal. Scoring change on the Falcons goal. They are now crediting an assist to Jake Taylor instead of Tyler Spurgeon.

8:18pm — Things have really settled down as both teams are playing more defensively. Still Portland is outshooting the Falcons by 2-to-1 (19-8).

8:19 — As soon as I say that things get interesting. Mike Weber is not happy and wants a piece of somebody. Portland is getting the original penalty as Weber slashed Guillaume Lefebvre. Weber felt Lefebvre played that one a little bit and a scuffle ensued. Robbie Schremp is going for slashing and Weber is getting an unsportsmanlike conduct for the after the whistle activity.

8:27pm — Both teams trade two-on-one chance and another scrum breaks out in front of Dubnyk. Looks like Portland will have a full two-minute five-on-three.

8:30pm — Portland scores – Gerbe with his second of the night, puts it right off the goalie left leg into the net. That’s pure hockey knowledge and talent to put the puck off the leg into the net. Gragnani and Butler get assists and Portland is still in the PP.

8:33pm — Referee Chris Brown likes to call the penalties tonight. Mike Card goes off for crosschecking.

8:44pm — Gerbe is one sick dude… Falls to the ice and still managed to get the puck on the stick of Mark Mancari for a good one-on-one scoring chance. This is a very special player indeed and will be a star in the NHL. Just to add, offensively he doesn’t belong in this league, but he does have work to do on his back checking and defensive play.

8:47pm — The second period is over and not a moment too soon for the Falcons. Five-on-Five, they’ve been fine and could compete with Portland, but every time they commit a penalty — which is a lot tonight — they put themselves behind. So far, tonight they are 4-for-7 on the PK and only a measly 66.7% (18-of-27) in the season.

9:04pm — Third period is underway and Portland is already trying to capitalize on a Falcons mistake. Mathieu Darche has a great chance at the left post, but couldn’t nail it home.

9:07pm — Portland is back on the PP, Guilliame Lefebrve goes off for hooking at 2:01 of the period.

9:09pm — Just 53 seconds later, Colin Murphy finds his way to the penalty box for hooking at 2:54.

9:13pm — TV timeout has taken place and both teams ready for the face-off. The Falcons trying to generate some offense. Portland only has one shot in the period as they stand four players back on the blueline.

9:17pm — Another penalty coming for the Falcons yada, yada, yada…. Colin McDonald is heading to the box for hooking at 8:41 of the third period.

9:22pm — Mike Card earns the Pirates defensive bone-head play of the game. Not watching the puck, he allows his tim Sestito to slip by for the breakaway, but Dennis stopped him.

9:24pm — Falcons score on rocket from Sebastien Bisaillon from the left point, cutting the lead to 3-2 for the Pirates. Portland only have had four shots on net this period and the Falcons are definitely smelling blood.

9:28pm — Tim Kennedy with a breakaway, but lifts the puck over the crossbar.

9:30pm — Heading to the locker room for quotes and thoughts on the game. I’ll have a recap for you after the conclusion of the game.

10:07pm — Pirates hold on for the 3-2 win. The locker room was pretty happy overall, but they know they still have work to do, especially with Providence coming to town tomorrow.

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