Maine Hockey Journal

Special teams sink Pirates

Portland, ME – It looked like Portland was the team who just played three games in three days.

At least that was the feeling of Pirates’ coach Kevin Dineen.

After playing last night in Springfield, Mass (a 3-2 win), the Pirates could never find their legs as the Providence Bruins came into the Cumberland County Civic Center, and roughed up Portland, 4-1, in front of 3,845 on Sunday afternoon.

Coming into the game, one of the keys for the Pirates was going to be staying out of the penalty box, while capitalizing on their own powerplay. Portland was ranked first in the AHL (31.3%) with Providence (31.0%) following a close second.

“Special teams were a big difference in the hockey game,” said Dineen. “It won it for them and lost it for us.”

With the game tied 1-1, the Bruins would take the lead on a power play goal. They would go 2-for-7 with the man advantage as they grabbed a lead they’d never relinquish when Brad Marchand scored his first professional goal at 14:47 of the first period.

Matt Marquardt fired a low shot from the top of the right face-off circle where Marchand, down low, tipped it by Pirates’ goaltender Jhonas Enroth, who was getting his first start of the season.

Providence made it 3-1 on the powerplay early in the third period, again on a tip play as Johnny Boychuk fired a bullet from the point, where Marquardt just got a piece of it in the crease area.

In either case, Dineen wasn’t placing fault on the shoulders of Enroth.

“I thought he played very well for us,” he said. “I was happy with out goaltending. (Enroth) didn’t have a chance on those two goals and the first one was a good play that our defensemen missed.”

Enroth would make 26 saves in his first AHL start.

The Bruins added an empty net goal in the final minute of the game, sealing the victory as they improve to 4-0-1-0.

Portland scored their lone goal in the first period when Mark Mancari spotted Paul Baier in the opposite face-off circle for the one-timer, between the legs of the Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask at 4:03 of the period. Tim Kennedy would also be credited with an assists on the play.

The Pirates will have the week off and return to action on Friday when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NY Islanders) and Saturday in a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins). Game time is 7:00pm for both games.

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