Maine Hockey Journal

Live Game Blog — Portland @ Manchester

Manchester, NH — It could be a battle of two ECHL teams tonight when the Pirates and Monarchs take to the ice. Both teams are missing several key players from their lineup. The Pirates currently have four players on PTO’s from various ECHL clubs – Matt MacDonald (Cincinnati), Kyle Rank (Cincinnati), Zach Tarkir (South Carolina) and Chase Trull (Mississippi), who just signed today due to injuries and player transactions.

Jhonas Enroth will get his fifth straight start tonight.

Not in the lineup for the Pirates tonight are Mike Card (concussion), Tim Kennedy (recalled to Buffalo), Aaron Slattengren (upper body), Jimmy Bonneau (hand) and Mike Funk (concussion).

Colin Murphy, Dylan Hunter and Kyle Rank are starting up front for Portland. Paul Baier and Mike Weber are on defense.

7:02pm – Despite Aaron Slattengren being listed in the lineup tonight, he’s not playing because of an upper body injury. He did skate this morning on his own with Jimmy Bonneau, but didn’t make the trip to New Hampshire.

7:04pm — Tyler Bouck poked the puck out the zone getting a good scoring chance. He passed the puck, but he should have thought about shooting instead. Monarchs’ goalie Jonathan Bernier hasn’t been so solid this year so the Pirates need to get shots on net.

7:08pm — Colin Murphy took a bone-jarring hit along the boards at center ice from Drew Bagnall. He’s was down for a few seconds before heading to the bench, looking very woozy.

7:11pm — The Pirates have held the Monarchs off the shot clock for the first 6:22 of the game, outshooting them 5-0. Mike Weber is heading to the box for a slashing penalty, giving the Monarchs the first PP of the game. It’s Weber’s 32 minor penalty of the season and Sabres fans wonder why he wasn’t recalled to the Sabres with Rivet went down.

7:16pm – It’s good to see Murphy back on the ice after being hit by Drew Bagnall.

7:21pm — Manchester just had a good chance to score, but Brian Boyle whistled the shot of the goal post, a goalie’s best friend, from the slot.

7:26pm — Now it’s the Pirates chance to go on the PP as Drew Campbell heads off for slashing at 17:03 of the first period.

7:28pm – The period is winding down and after the Pirates had a 5-0 shots advantage, the Monarchs have come back to outshoot Portland 8-3 in the final 12:38 of the period.

For those who are watching the Sabres vs. Islanders game, Sekera heading to the bench in obvious pain didn’t look pretty. If it’s serious Weber is a phone call away from Buffalo, despite that he’s struggled in Portland.

7:48pm – Not the start to the period the Pirates were looking for. The Monarchs take a 1-0 lead against Portland as Brian Boyle lifted a backhand shot by Enroth just 15 seconds into the period.

7:54pm — Felix Schutz is off for two minutes or less for charging… It’s the Monarchs second PP.

7:59pm — It’s now 2-0 for the Monarchs… after a big hit by Brian Boyle along the boards, he fed the puck to Joe Piskula for a give and go with Alec Martinez at 5:20 of the period.

8:01pm — Drew Bagnall clips Mancari in the face and the Pirates are now on a power play. This is a must score for the Pirates. Now this is really a must score chance for the Pirates after Joe Piskula was called for a delay of game.

8:03pm – It’s getting a little crowded in the Monarchs penalty box as Brian Boyle was just whistled for slashing. The Pirates will have a 1:22 with a five-on-three man advantage.

8:05pm – It pays off as Mancari ripped a point shot by Bernier. Portland is still on a 5-on-3 for 55 seconds.

8:09pm — The pace has picked up now. Portland had two extended five-on-three advantages, scoring on their first one. Tyler Bouck and Alec Martinez both are heading off for minor penalties and both teams will skate five-on-five when Boyle’s penalty expires.

8:25pm — With 46 seconds left in the period, Dylan Hunter is called for hooking. This will be the Monarchs third PP of the game.

8:28pm — Manchester will have 1:14 left when the third period starts.

8:47pm – The Pirates are getting an early chance to tie the game with a power play. The Pirates killed off Hunter’s penalty and shortly after Paul Crosty hits Marc-Andre Gragnani from behind at 1:41 into the period.

8:52pm — It’s a tie game… Marek Zagrapan benefiting from playing on the top line with Darche and Mancari is credited with a goal at 5:08 of the period. Zagrapan and Mancari break out of the zone on a two-on-one and Mancari dished the puck to Zagrapan, who just tipped the puck by Bernier while crashing the net. It must feel like déjà vu for the Monarchs, who had a two-goal lead the last time these two teams met back on Dec 9 in Orono.

9:01pm — Mathieu Darche has been credited with an assist on Zagrapan’s goal.

9:08pm — After a harmless whistle, Mancari and Dusty Collins get into a shoving match that result in coincidental minors.

9:12pm — Portland battled back from a two-goal deficit, but Manchester is able to push ahead on a defensive breakdown by Portland. Scott Parse buried the two-on-one break, converting Brian Boyle’s cross-ice pass with 3:22 left in the game.

9:21pm — Game over. Portland falls 3-2 to Manchester… More to come

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