Maine Hockey Journal

Live game blog — Portland @ Hartford

As was expected Tyler Bouck and Dylan Hunter are out of the line up and Matt MacDonald and Aaron Slattengren are in.

Slattengren will be wearing #20 and MacDonald is wearing #23.

FIRST PERIOD
7:04pm – Game has been delayed due to an issue with the glass behind the net of Miika Wiikman. The player’s are just skating around anxious to start the game. Starting for Portland is Darche, Kennedy and Mancari with Kostka and Gragnani on the blueline. Dennis is getting the start in net. The person singing the National Anthem forgot the words midway through, but give her credit she hung with some help from the sparse crowd here at the XL Center.

7:16pm – The game finally started with after an 11-minute delay. Slattengren and MacDonald have seen their first shifts of the game. It must be a bit of the nerves for MacDonald turning the puck over to the Wolf Pack deep in the Pirates zone.

7:19pm – The first penalty of the game has been handed out and it goes to Portland’s Mike Card as he heads off for hooking.

7:21pm – Make that two…. The Pirates find themselves down two men for 47 seconds as Colin Murphy was called for holding.

7:23pm – The Pirates have killed off the 5-on-3 with a pretty effective penalty kill and now they get a PP of their own as Corey Potter is called for delay of game. Portland makes the most it as they score. Chris Butler fired the puck of the backboard, where Colin Murphy swipes at it with the backhand, beating Wiikman.

7:27pm – Pirates are back on the PP. Greg Moore is called for tripping and will feel shame for the next two minutes.

7:29pm — It’s become the Wolf Pack expressway as they head to the penalty box for the third straight time. This time, it’s Pierre Parenteau who is heading off for hooking.

7:36pm — The Wolf Pack just scored on a weird play from Dale Weise, it was a shot from the point, but it took a funny hop and Weise got a piece of it, beating Dennis. Portland had a chance to make it 2-0 on a breakaway by Murphy, but instead it’s now 1-1. Funny how those things work out?

7:40pm — It’s now 2-1 for Hartford. A goal scored by Justin Soryal, a snap shot from the top of the left face-off circle, beat Dennis over his glove…. I’m sure that’s one he’d like to have back.

SECOND PERIOD

8:03pm — For those who just heard me… Thanks for listening and for those who missed it. You’re lucky!!!

Just kidding…

The Pirates just missed a scoring chance from Mancari down low. The play has really slowed down in this period.

8:07pm — Both teams trade off penalties only a few seconds apart. Zagrapan goes off for hooking and likewise for Tommy Pyatt. Tim Kennedy had a breakaway with two players from the Wolf Pack all over him, he got the shot off, but Wiikman was able to glove it.

8:16pm — Pierre Parenteau is going off for the second time tonight as he tripped up Kennedy behind Dennis. Pirates are back on the PP with a chance to tie the game — 10 minutes to go in the period.

8:24pm — I would like to thank Anne for catching an error early in the blog. Now back to your regular scheduled program… The Pirates are playing a pretty solid game, if not for two mistakes in the first period; they could be leading in this thing. In the second period, the Pirates are out chancing the Wolf Pack, but just can’t sneak the puck by Wiikman.

8:30pm — Nathan Gerbe and Brian Fahey both are off the ice for the next two minutes. Gerbe was called for holding the stick and Fahey for roughing. How can you find fault with Gerbe’s heart when he stands up to a player who is 6-1, 216-pounds??

8:34pm — The Pirates and Wolf Pack have completed two periods of play and Portland still looks like they are still very much in the game, but they need to get back to basics and drive to the net because this fancy — pass the puck — play will not win the game.

THIRD PERIOD

8:56pm — Slattengren will find himself on the scoresheet, but now how he wanted to be. He’s off for two minutes for holding. A selfish penalty to say the least.

9:01pm — With 12:20 left in the period, Portland is back on the PP. Hartford is this period has carried the play and is playing like the road team. Scratch that…. The Pirates have tied the game at 2-2. Nathan Gerbe is stating a case why he’s not long for the NHL. After stripping Corey Potter down to his underwear, he lifted the puck over Wiikman for the PP goal. Stuff for the highlight reel.

9:09pm — The Pirates have to kill off another 5-on-3 as Zagrapan and Slattengren on in the box.

9:12pm — After Hartford held the puck in the zone for close to the full 5-on-3, Portland was able to kill it off.

9:19pm — The Pirates have earned a very hard fought one point and will now try for the second point. Overall, Portland had quite a few chances to win this game, but Miika Wiikman has stood on his head tonight. He should be a star of the game, at least in my book.

OVERTIME

9:22pm — Gerbe just had a wonderful chance to end the game, but got a little too cute. If he has any faults, it is ability to do amazing things with the puck. He’ll need to tone that down in the NHL, but that comes with experience.

9:24pm — Game over. Defensive breakdown by the Pirates led to the game-winner. Dane Byers fired a slapper from the top of the faceoff circle, beating Dennis.

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