Maine Hockey Journal

Live Game Blog — Portland @ Worcester

Worcester, Mass. — Sitting here at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA and I must say that while the Sharks don’t have the nicest press box I’ve ever been in — that honor goes to Hershey — I will say the view of the game in fantastic. Right now, while watching pre-game warm up for both teams… I’m no more that 20 feet from the glass and just high enough to see everything. It almost feels like stealing with seats this good.

Ok, enough of that…. Enroth is getting his third consecutive start tonight. It was a bit of a surprise, but how could Dineen not start a guy who just had a shutout and played lights out for the Pirates in Norfolk last weekend. Another little surprise is that Colin Murphy will be missing from tonight’s action as a scratch. He suffered — what has been termed — a minor injury and didn’t make the trip along with Mike Funk, Dylan Hunter and Tyler Bouck. Marc-Andre Gragnani will play forward in Murphy’s absence.

FIRST PERIOD:
6:52pm — Starting line for the Pirates is no surprise. Up front will be Mathieu Darche, Tim Kennedy and Mark Mancari and on the blueline will be Mike Weber and Mike Card.

7:01pm — Anthem has been sung and it’s puck drop time for the Pirates and Sharks.

7:04pm — The Sharks will be getting the PP of the game as Weber heads off for tripping and roughing, while Brad Staubitz goes for roughing. I guess they disagreed over who was elected president.

7:09pm — Uncharacteristic play for the Pirates early, taking another penalty. Kennedy is off for tripping giving the Sharks their second PP of the period.

7:13pm — 11:37 to go in the period and the Pirates still don’t have a shot on net. A little factoid, Worcester leads the AHL in shots for (37.00) and least shots allowed (22.88)

7:17pm — On their first shot of the game, Portland scores to take a 1-0 lead. Marc Mancari will be credited with the goal, sliding it past Thomas Greiss at the left post. Just 15 seconds later, Tom Cavanagh tied the game for the Sharks.

7:20pm — Portland will try to regain the lead as Staubitz goes off for interference at 11:12.

7:27pm — As the period starts to wind down, the Pirates are playing a little careless, getting a little too fancy and not taking care of business of their own end. Shot have evened out a little bit, 6-4, in favor of Worcester, but the Pirates aren’t has sharp has they’ve been in the past. PJ Fenton gives the Pirates another PP as he was called for interference.

7:30pm — Ryan Vesce was called for cross-checking to give the Pirates a 5-on-3 for 1:29. It didn’t take the Pirates long to capitalize as just 13 seconds later Nathan Gerbe scored for Portland. The Pirates still have PP time left, 5-on-4.

SECOND PERIOD:
7:58pm — Thanks to those who stayed for the intermission report with Ryan Messick. It was fun as usual chatting it up with him. Both teams have traded power play’s this period. Can’t say a lot happened with either unit.

8:02pm — The Pirates are heading back to the PP. Brendan Buckley goes for slashing. So far, they are 1-for-4 with the man advantage.

8:04pm — Mark Mancari has three points on the night with his second goal of the game, on the PP. Mancari found his rebound, lifting it by Greiss. Kennedy also has three points on the night.

8:09pm — Former Shark Mathieu Darche tried to make it 4-1 for Portland with a breakaway, but Greiss made the save, pushing the puck into the corner.

8:12pm — The boo birds have come out for the Sharks…. Another penalty as Kyle McLaren — yes, that Kyle McLaren — goes off for interference.

8:21pm — One thing that’s been Portland’s flaw all season has been defensive lapses. It bit them again… Lukas Kaspar got a shot on Enroth, who made the save, but Steven Zalewski was alone and put the rebound over Enroth. It’s one of those dangerous goals because a) it comes with a minute to play b) it allows the Sharks to get back into a game that they shouldn’t be in considering how the Pirates played this second period.

8:26pm — As the period came to an end…. Nathan Gerbe and Kyle McLaren exchanged words and I wouldn’t have put it past Gerbe to throw down…. He would have lost, but the message it would have sent would have been enormous.

8:35pm — As the intermission rolls along, I wanted to mention a couple things of interest. Pirates’ owner Brian Petrovek is in attendance…. again, it makes one ponder what is going on because for as long as I’ve known Brian I’ve never seen him attend a road game and now I’ve seen him at every game this season. Also, I bumped into Rick Patterson, Anaheim’s Director of Pro Scouting, and again it puzzling because Anaheim has been very curious with the play of several Pirates…. It has to make wonder…..hmmm

THIRD PERIOD:

8:44pm — Mark Mancari just had a great chance to make this a 4-2 game…. Greiss coughed the puck up to Mancari, who missed the open net and then Paul Baier had an open net and somehow Greiss was able to make the save. I just said in the press box, I get the feeling that could be a game changer. Change the scoring on Portland’s second goal. It’s now from Gerbe, Kennedy and Zagrapan so Mancari has two points, both goals, on the night.

8:47pm — Mathieu Darche is heading off for roughing to give the Sharks a PP.

8:49pm — Enroth just made a nice breakway save on Tom Cavanagh, but on the ensuing faceoff, the Sharks has now game the tied at 3-3 as Mike Morris stuffed the puck by Enroth, who couldn’t stretch out enough to make the save. As I said, the save made by Greiss was a game changer.

8:55pm — Nathan Gerbe now has his second of the night, scoring on the breakaway. It’s now 4-3 Portland with 10:25 to play in the game.

8:59pm — Just finished voting my selections for the three stars of the game. It think it’s pretty obvious at this point. Nathan Gerbe, Mark Mancari and Tim Kennedy. Ryan Vesce is a candidate, but who could argue those selections. Speaking of Vesce, he just went down fairly hard. I didn’t see it, but the crowd is sounding their displeasure. I think we’ll be seeing Jimmy Bonneau on the ice in a shift or two.

9:08pm — With 3:08 left in the game, the Sharks find themselves back in the PP as Felix Schutz was called for hooking. This will be a big kill for the Pirates and Worcester has really been in control most of this period.

9:11pm — Worcester has called a timeout. There is 27 seconds on the PP and the Sharks will go 6-on-4 trying to try and tie the game by pulling Greiss. Enroth has had to make a couple close saves.

9:13pm — Make that GAME BREAKING SAVES….. The Sharks PP is over with a minute to play. Gerbe just missed the open net.

9:15pm — Gerbe doesn’t miss this time as he nets the hat trick.

POSTGAME
9:43pm — The Pirates were a pretty happy bunch as they should be. Despite a slow first period and a lull in the third period, Dineen was happy with his group and the game they played.

“I thought we were pretty good overall,” said Dineen, it was our fourth road game, but in saying that it was a tough stretch for us. Tonight, we come out fairly unscathed as far as injuries, but give credit we have our captain and assistant out of the line up and our big faceoff men and guys are stepping up into bigger role.”

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