Maine Hockey Journal

Live Game Blog — Portland @ Lowell

Lowell, ME — Warmups are taking place as we speak and Mark Mancari is in uniform for the Pirates. Jhonas Enroth is getting his second start of the weekend, after falling 2-1 in a shootout to Springfield.

The scratches and lineups were just announced and in a bit of a surprise for Portland, Colin Murphy has been listed as a scratch as Dineen will dress 7 defensemen. Marc-Andre Graganai will get the start at defense with Mike Kostka and it will be Felix Schutz, Matt Ellis and Colton Fretter up front.

FIRST PERIOD:
7:05pm — Mancari has already made his presence felt, crashing the net and generating two solid chances with old linemates Tim Kennedy and Mathieu Darche. The Pirates have the PP as the Devils were caught with too many men on the ice. They had seven one the ice earlier in the game, but didn’t get caught by the officials.

7:09pm — Not the prettiest goal to give up. In their first shot of the game, Benoit Mondou scores for the Devils on a shot that squeaked between the armpit of Enroth — Devils lead 1-0.

7:14pm — Dineen is rolling some interesting lines — Fretter – Schutz – Ellis; Mancari – Kennedy – Darche; Bouck – Hunter – Slattengren and he just using Whitmore and Zagrapan on occasion. The Pirates fell to 0-for-2 on the PP. Lowell’s Zharkov went off for delay of game and the Pirates failed to score.

7:18pm — The Devils are on their first PP as Mike Weber was called for another lazy penalty — off for tripping.

7:26pm — Patrick Davis went off for hooking, giving the Pirates another PP.

7:28pm — This is a period that I’m not sure the Pirates will be very happy about. Not a lot of skating took place as Portland did a fair bit of coasting. You hope they don’t look at Mancari as a cure all because they are playing with fire.

SECOND PERIOD:
7:48pm — Portland came out with a little bit of spunk in the second period, but couldn’t score on the PP — Now 0-for-3…

7:49pm — The Devils go on their second PP of the game as Zagrapan was called for tripping.

7:56pm — This game has a real similar feel to last night in Springfield. The Pirates offense has just dried up, they are getting the chances, but Lowell team is making a lot of simple plays when things get heated. The Pirates have their fourth PP, but so far nothing.

7:59pm — As the Pirates PP expired (0-for-4), they’d get several good chances, but David Caruso who is looking for a rebound game after losing his last start against Worcester, came up with several wonderful saves.

8:02pm — Do I hear five? Matt Spiller was called for cross-checking, putting the Pirates on yet another PP. They are getting the chances, but a hot goalie has kept it 1-0 for the Devils.

8:06pm — The Pirates finally have a PP goal as Colton Fretter scored his fifth of the season. Tim Kennedy circled on the right faceoff circle and fired a shot on net, the rebound came right to Fretter, who just slid the backhander by Caruso.

8:09pm — The energy line is doing just that, giving the Pirates a lift. Fretter was just credited with his second goal of the game on a misplay. Fretter went to shoot the puck and it deflected back to him off a skate, he took the shot again, throwing it at the net and it beat Caruso between the legs who was screened. Pirates lead 2-0. After the faceoff, Tyler Bouck and Rod Pelley dropped the gloves, Bouck got the first couple of shots, but Pelley brought Bouck down to the ice and he hit his head off the ice pretty good and his status is unknown.

8:15pm — The Pirates now have a 3-1 lead as Zagrapan scored his fourth of season on the PP, after going scoreless on their first four attempts they have scored on the last two. With less than three minutes in the period, Zagrapan was called for hooking.

8:17pm — Portland killed off the penalty as Lowell is 0-for-3. This was a much different period overall compared to the first period. When Lowell is in the lead, they have a tendency to play the trap, killing any momentum the opposition builds. In this case, it will be interest to see Lowell having to open up their play as they’re the team trailing.

THIRD PERIOD:
8:40pm – With the Sabres struggle, they may want to take a look at someone like Fretter. A hard, nose grinder who does have a little bit of scoring ability. When you have a player like that, it helps a lot. The Pirates are back on the PK, Dylan Hunter was whistled for hooking. A bit of good news for the Pirates is Tyler Bouck returned for Portland, after taking a nasty fall to ice during a fight.

8:45pm — While killing the penalty, Schutz, Whitmore and Butler would break for a 3-on-1, but Schutz took the shot instead of pass to a wide open Whitmore. Bouck, after trying to skate, has gone off again. It looks like an equipment problem.

8:48pm — Lowell just had a chance with Bergfors when he rang the puck off a wide open net… It beat Enroth, who lost his stick, but his best friend — IRON — came to the rescue. Lowell is pushing and pushing hard.

8:51pm — The Devils have made this game again, Anssi Salmela scored putting it under the crossbar.

8:53pm — In a bit of a serious tone, Mike Funk just went down very badly. He was checked from behind by Salmela and is laying on his back. He has moved his extremities, but in a fog. The Devils doctors, trainers and EMT’s are putting him on a stretcher and taking him off the ice as a precaution.

8:58 — The Pirates try to get their mind back into the play and the best way to do that is score. Mathieu Darche scores shortly after play resumed on the PP. Salmela was called for hitting from behind and a game misconduct. The league maybe looking that as it was a vicious hit and one that could have been prevented. Mark Mancari is credited with an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to nine games.

9:03 — Colton Fretter scores the hat-trick as he lifted the puck over Caruso while on the PP, this is still the PP from Salmela’s penalty.

9:05 — Portland will go back on the PP as Lowell has come apart completely. Lowell is called for too many men for the second time in the game.

POSTGAME:

It was a sombre locker afterward as everybody’s thoughts were with Funk. According to Dineen, he was taken to a local area hospital and will be staying overnight for observation. The Pirates will also be looking for supplementary action from the league as a result of the hit as Dineen was coy with his words. Mathieu Darche didn’t mix words saying that the players need to start taking responsibility for their action and think before they slam somebody from behind.

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