Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates look to carry momentum into second half of the season

Portland, ME – The All-Star Classic is over and the second half of the season is about to begin for the Portland Pirates with a crucial battle against the Providence Bruins on Friday night in Rhode Island.

The Pirates ended the first half of their season on a positive note after winning a pair games against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Going into Friday’s game, Portland is only two points behind the division-leading Providence, but only three points ahead of fifth place Lowell.

“Those were two excellent hockey games played,” said Pirates’ head coach Kevin Dineen. “A big part of the credit has to be given to (Enroth), giving up one goal in two games, but our defense in front of him was showing some responsible play.”

Dineen also said the Pirates are getting healthy in some regard, as Mike Weber and Dylan Hunter are both back skating in full practice.

Weber will be a game time decision for the Pirates tomorrow night, after missing five games since having surgery on his right knee.

In 35 games with Portland, he has five assists and leads all defensemen on the team with a plus-10 rating.

Hunter is also a game time decision after returning from a concussion.

“We’ll see where (Weber) is at (tomorrow),” said Dineen. “We’re going to make sure he’s fully healthy and ready to go.”

If Weber isn’t available, Dineen said he would find another defenseman to fill the void as Portland currently only has five healthy d-men, not including Weber.

It’s been increasingly difficult season for the Sabres organization as both Buffalo and Portland has suffered injuries depleting the blueline down to the bare minimum at this point.

In Portland, only one defenseman (Mike Kostka) remains from the start of the season as injuries and call-ups have taken a toll.

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