Maine Hockey Journal

Live Game Blog — Portland @ Manchester

Manchester, NH — It’s about an hour before game time and some news is slowly starting to trickle in from the Pirates about the roster. Out of the line up tonight will be Mike Card, Matt Ellis and Jimmy Bonneau. Dylan Hunter has accompanied the team and is a game time decision. New to the Pirates lineup is Kyle Rank, who the Pirates signed to a PTO at 4pm today.

Rank, a right winger from the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL, is 6-1, 185-pounds. In 16 games, he scored 13 points (3g, 10a).

It still not known about Mancari, but he’s not here so until something official comes from Buffalo, it’s not official… (makes sense, right?)

Dennis is getting the start for Portland tonight, he’s last game was against the Wolf Pack where he allowed six goal in a 6-2 loss. In eight games, he’s 6-1-1-0 with a 2.71GAA and .906 save percentage.

Starting lineup’s for both teams have been released and Dino is reward Schutz, Whitmore and Murphy with the start. Weber and Funk are on the back end with Dennis getting the start.

For Manchester, it’s Trevor Lewis, Gabe Gauthier, Matt Moulson and Joe Piskula and Davis Drewiske on defense. Jon Quick is start in goal for Manchester…. The Monarchs have won five straight games, all road games against Western Conference teams.

7:31pm — The game is underway…Manchester win the face off, sending it down for an early icing.

7:35pm — Rank is getting his first shift of the game, playing on a line with Bouck and Zagrapan, also Hunter is back after missing 12 games with a broken toe. Hunter had a nice line after practice on Tuesday….”I’ve practice enough…I didn’t practice all summer to just practice during the season.”

7:38pm — Pirates’ D-man Mike Weber earns the first trip to the box as he’s called for boarding.

7:42pm — Just 58 seconds into the Monarchs PP, Trevor Lewis picks up the rebound and sweeps the puck around Dennis….Why was Lewis alone in front of Dennis? After the whistle, Lewis was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct after he jostled with Dennis…Again why?

7:54pm — The Pirates just killed off their second penalty of the game when Felix Schutz was called for holding at 10:20 of the period. Shortly after, the Pirates had a couple scoring chances off the stick of Tim Kennedy. Still 1-0 with 5:20 left in the period. (note for fans not watching the Sabres game…. Mancari is in the lineup so we can debunk any speculation he’s been sent to Portland.)

8:01pm — Kevin Westgarth was called for slashing, giving the Pirates their second PP. Portland is 0-for-1 on the night.

8:04pm — Pirates’ goalie Adam Dennis needed to step up in the final minute of the first period, making three point blank saves…. Portland outshot the Monarchs about 17-9 so they are getting the shots. They just need to find a away to beat Quick…End of period.

8:29pm — Sorry if any one was bumped off…My host felt it was the right time to do some maintenance. Looks like we’re a cleared up now. Portland was just on a PP and went 0-3…did have a few chances. Portland is playing well, but they need to get some bodies down low to get dirty.

8:35pm — This game went into slow down mode…..A lot of dump and chase for both teams…four shots a piece for both teams.

8:39pm — Kennedy fed Funk a beautiful shot in the slot, but he couldn’t coral it long enough to get the shot off….Portland is getting chances, but LA err…Manchester is playing the tap to a “T”.

8:47pm — This has got to be frustrating for Portland…They get the puck in deep and the Monarchs just dump it out over and over and over. Azevedo is going off for two or less…. Make that less, Tyler Bouck scores for the Pirates in the PP, finally getting one by Quick. Butler sends a one-timer on net which was tipped by Bouck who was crashing the net. Game tied at 1-1.

8:58pm — End of the second period. The Pirates have to be given credit for playing a really good road game. They’ve keep the game close and capitalized on their power play. They just need to keep applying the pressure and they should be able to get that second goal. As for the new guy, Rank, he’s looked alright tonight. Not too out of place and he’s had a couple chances, but nothing special. Hunter looks like he hasn’t played in over a month.

(During intermission was exposed to the one of the: a.) stupidest ideas or b.) brightest marketing ideas of all time…I’m not sure yet? David Hasselhoff on the jumbotron singing Rhinestone Cowboy and those here are signing right along…. I guess Sweet Caroline wore out its welcome?)

9:19pm — Marc-Andre Graganai is off for tripping…Purcell just had a wide-open net and missed.

9:21pm– This could be the game here…. Portland is now down five-on-three for 44 seconds after Weber went off for slashing. The Monarchs took a timeout to draw up a play.

9:24pm — Portland is two seconds away from killing off the 5-on-3 and maybe seizing some momentum. Manchester has clog up the neutral zone worse than NYC traffic at rush hour….It’s a joke.

9:27pm — Drew Bagnall is off for two minute or less…. Portland would like to get one here, for sure. In other scores…Buffalo is down 3-2 to Pittsburgh, but Mark Mancari has an assist in the game on a goal by Paul Gaustad. That can’t make Buffalo’s decision any easier with bodies getting healthy.

9:32pm — This is not what Portland needs…Bud Holloway just scored for Manchester through a screen. Dennis makes a really nice save, but Portland couldn’t clear out the puck and Murray found Holloway sitting atop the left face-off circle. There is 7:38 left in the period for Portland to try and get that one back.

9:36pm — Not one to get pessimistic, but it’s looking like Portland is heading for 0-3-1 in their last four games. I’ve said this already, but this has got to be frustrating.

9:39pm — Please send all mail…Care of Maine Hockey Journal…… Manchester scores and it’s now 3-1. Trevor Lewis in the slot finds the back of the net in the left face-off circle. It’s time to head to the locker room so I’ll be back to post game thoughts.

End of Game….

The Pirates were disappointed in the lost, but they were happy with the effort. They felt it should have been a better outcome, but a couple mistakes cost them in the third period.

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