Maine Hockey Journal

Portland @ Providence — Live Game Blog

Howdy folks…..

For those who have been in a coma or fell off the planet, Mark Mancari has been called up to the Sabres. It’s well deserved for sure as he was second in the AHL in scoring (11g, 14a) with 25 points.

Lines for Portland tonight… Darche-Kennedy-Fretter; Bouck-Zagrapan-Slattengren; Gerbe-Ellis-Murphy and Whitmore-Schutz-Bounneau.

Scratches for the Pirates are Hunter (foot) and Mike Card (facial)

7:11pm — Tim Kennedy took a bad fall into the board after a precarious hit from Adam McQuaid, who goes for boarding. Kennedy was slow to get up, but he’s fine and skating the next shift on the PP.

7:17pm — Bruins killed off the first Pirates PP — Enroth has needed to make a couple strong saves early on. I believe the Bruins will be the Pirates toughest competition this season. Yes, if you missed it, Gerbe is playing on the third line with Ellis and Murphy. It by no means is a reflection of Gerbe’s play, but with Mancari getting recalled, Dineen needed find a couple of new line combinations.

7:20pm — Butler is heading off the ice for high-sticking with 12:34 left in the first game. The Pirates are first in the AHL in PK% (93.5%)on the road.

7:22pm — Marc-Andre Graganai is down on the ice after getting chopped in the defensive zone. He’s back on the bench was looks to be a little woozy and worse for wear.

7:25pm — For Pirates fans, who have followed the Pirates for a few years…. Doesn’t Mike Weber remind you of Shane O’Brien??? Not really in a good way either. With the Pirates killing off the penalty from Butler, Weber took a shot on one of the Bruins, and is now going off for elbowing. It won’t get him a call to Buffalo anytime soon. The last thing the Sabres need is more undisciplined play.

7:30pm — Zagrapan was called for elbowing, but 34 seconds later Martin St. Pierre was called for hooking to even things up at 4-on-4. With about four minutes left in the game, the Bruins are outshooting the Pirates 11-1.

7:35pm — Here’s a first….Nathan Gerbe and Vladimir Sobotka dropped the gloves… REALLY? 5ft-6in Gerbe dropped the mitts with Sobotka. It didn’t go well, but it certainly sends a message.

7:41pm — Period over; thank goodness because it’s a period the Pirates would like to forget. Outshot 13-5, they should take up a collection for Enroth with his solid play.

8:02pm — Portland killed off the penalty, Ellis and Whitmore break for a 2-on-1…Regan made the stop on Whitmore.

8:06pm — Zagrapan goes for tripping, but I question if there shouldn’t be a dive called as well.

8:11pm — There’s absolutely no flow this period, both teams are playing like it’s a playoff game. Shots are even 6-6 with 10:43 left in the second period. A bright spot for the Pirates has been Enroth’s play and Matt Ellis, who had several offensive chances.

8:19pm — Besides Enroth, Kevin Regan has to be given credit tonight, he hasn’t seen a lot of shots, but he’s stopped them all so far. But, this being about the Pirates… Enroth has been magnificent, stopping all 22 shots in the game. Tyler Bouck and Adam McQuaid head off for fighting – or attempt at a fight. It sort of went like this… Bouck and McQuaid dropped the mitts, squared up and Bouck throws a couple swings before McQuaid lost his balance, falling to the ice. Might that be the response to the hit on Tim Kennedy??

8:29pm — As soon as I’m done typing about Kennedy… He’s high-sticked in the face by Kevin Schaefer. What night for the kid. He loses his line-mate then hit hard into the boards from behind and finally had a stick in the face. He’s bound to be struck by lightening, eh? End of period with both team scoreless after two periods of play.

8:53pm — Well finally!! The Pirates break the scoreless tie at 2:33 of the third period. Felix Schutz sent a wrist shot over the top of Regan for the 1-0 lead. The Pirates are 10-0-0-0 when leading after two periods of play. Not implying, but just saying…

8:58PM — We’re tied again… Vladimir Sobotka finished off the breakway sliding it underneath Enroth. Still 13:15 left in the period.

9:02pm — WE HAVE A HOCKEY GAME!!!! The Pirates have re-taken the lead on a goal by Derek Whitmore. He finds the rebound in the slot and puts it past Regan. Shortly after, Bouck just laid out Sobotka will a hard vicious hit… Sobotka down on the ice, but it was a clean hit. Obviously, the Bruins didn’t like and McQuaid battled with Bouck…again. Bouck held his own with McQuaid, landing a few punches of his own.

9:10pm — Portland will be down a man for the next two or less… Nate Gerbe is off for interference.

9:14pm — The Pirates have killed the penalty, but we’re tied again as Byron Bitz lift the puck over the top of Enroth, who made the original save. There is 4:53 left in the period and the game story has to come first so I’m heading the locker room for post game reaction. Stay tuned for post game comments.

It was a mixed feeling in the locker room after the game. They certainly weren’t happy about the loss, but they’ll take the point after playing so poorly in the first period. It was kudos around the locker room for Enroth for enduring the storm in the first period.

Bouck was critical of the team allowing bad habits to creep into their game and He knows they need to play better against teams in their division.

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