Maine Hockey Journal

Live Game Blog — 02/07/09 — Portland vs. Albany @ Glens Falls

Glens Falls, NY — Here I am in lovely Glens Falls, NY… I finally made it to upstate NY and I must say that I’m not amused. The drive was longer than I anticipated and trying to find a place to park wasn’t exactly easy. I spent 10 minutes driving in circles as people who worked the lots didn’t have a clue about where I was suppose to go. Inside the arena was pretty nice. It’s not in bad shape, but it will need work before an AHL could call this place home.

Back to the game tonight… This is a crucial game for the Pirates, especially after losing Wednesday night at home to Worcester. Dineen has been in rather a sour mood — Who wouldn’t, giving up a three goal lead — since that time so let’s hope the boys cheer him up.

The only lineup changes for the Pirates is Dylan Hunter, who is out of the lineup tonight with the flu, while Nathan Gerbe is returning to the lineup after missing the last seven games with a concussion.

Dineen has shuffled the lineup tonight in hope of getting a little more offense from more than one line.

Darche-Kennedy-Mancari; Gerbe-Zagrapan-Fretter; Bonneau-Whitmore-Slattengren; Bouck-Schutz-Rank.

Kostka-Gragnani; Macdonald-MacAuley; Loya-Tarkir

Starting lineup for the Pirates tonight with be Kostka, Gragnani, Gerbe, Zagrapan and Fretter. Enroth is starting in goal tonight so this might indicate we may see DeCaro get a start tomorrow in Hershey.

FIRST PERIOD:
5:06pm — The Pirates are down to four defensemen for the next two minutes. Zach Tarkir just took a two minute penalty for tripping and Cliff Loya needed to be helped off the ice. Loya was favoring his left knee as it looked like he caught a rut in the ice and twisted it. It doubtful he will be back tonight.

5:16pm — Rats’ goalie Justin Peters just made a nice save to keep it, 0-0. Kennedy had a shot from the top of the crease, but Peters flashed a leg pad to make the save. That has really been the Pirates only good chance as they been outplayed by Albany so far. The passing for Portland has been very sloppy and not on target.

5:27pm — Shots are 7-4 in favor of the Rats. Enroth hasn’t been busy, but he’s been good when he’s needed to be. The Pirates can’t afford to suffer anymore injuries as Matt Macdonald was shaken up and slow to the bench.

5:28pm — Albany just grabbed a 1-0 lead. Casey Borer wristed a shot that went off the iron.

5:34pm — Mancari has shown some frustration, taking on Joe Jensen in a wrestling match. Mancari heads to the box for roughing and Jensen to the locker room, holding his shoulder.

SECOND PERIOD:
5:54pm — Portland was outshot 11-6 in the first period and needs to get a better start. Playing like this will get them a quick ticket to the local golf course, instead of a seat in the Calder Cup playoffs.

5:58pm — As I was just saying, Fretter’s hard work created a goal for the Pirates. Working the puck around the boards, Fretter shot a backhander between the legs of Peters to tie the game 1-1.

6:00pm — The Pirates are on their first PP of the game as Ryan Weston heads to the box for hooking at 3:20 of the period. Portland is two for their last six power play attempts.

6:03pm — Since scoring that goal, the Pirates have applied the pressure to Albany and is now outshooting them 15-12.

6:05pm — Mancari just took a shot off the left foot and was in obvious pain going to the bench. He just tried to test the ankle and had a noticeable limp when he skated. Albany is now on the PP as Tim Kennedy went off for hooking at 7:52.

6:08pm — The Rats go on a 5-on-3 for 1:15 as Tyler Bouck has just been called for hooking. These are very lazy penalties to be taking and very avoidable. The Pirates are not skating.

6:09pm — Just as Kennedy’s penalty expired, Gragnani made the save of the game by getting back to break up a 2-on-0 for Albany.

6:13pm — Mancari is back on the ice, which is very good news for Portland as they are already down to five defensemen.

6:15pm — The River Rats are going on their fifth power play of the game as Gragnani goes off for slashing at 12:34 of the period.

6:22pm — The Pirates are getting only their second PP of the game… Harrison Reed was whistled for interference at 16:45 of the period. The Pirates made it count getting the lead as Mark Mancari scored his 19th of the season, firing a slap shot over Peters’ glove of the goal post. There was also scoring change on the Pirates first goal as Marek Zagrapan was credited for an assist instead of MacAuley.

6:28pm — It’s a much better outlook to the end of the second period as the Pirates hold on to a 2-1 lead. A large part of that has to go to Enroth, and the Pirates getting a couple of goals at critical times in the game. Portland is still being outshot 2-to-1 (31/16) for two periods of play, including 20-10 in the second period.

THIRD PERIOD:
6:50 — The Pirates head to the PP early in the third period. Jerome Samson is called for hooking as Portland had a great scoring chance to make it 3-1. If they don’t score and Albany does… They may come back to haunt them.

6:53pm — Portland had 27 seconds left on the PP, but that goes out the window as Zagrapan is off for tripping. (REMEMBER LAZY PENALTIES??)

6:55pm — Ok… So I was right on a couple of accounts. A lazy penalty by the Pirates led to the tying goal and now lets see if missing the open net cost the Pirates the win. This wasn’t Enroth fault, he was screened as Mark Flood sent a slap shot on net, that beat Enroth between the legs.

6:57pm — Normally, I won’t criticize the officials on the record, but this is bunk…. Albany has seven PP’s, while Portland has had only three PP’s in the game. Francois St. Laurent is certainly not watching the same game as the rest of us in the press box.

7:05pm — The Pirates are on the power play. Reed goes off for his second of the game as he’s called for hooking. There is 8:44 left in the game for the Pirates to get a chance for the go ahead goal. Shots are 41-23 in favor of the Rats.

7:16pm — There’s 1:15 left in regulation… Shots are 42-26 for Albany as Mancari just a good scoring opportunity that went out of play.

7:20pm — Zagrapan is going to find himself in hot water, if the Rats score. He’s off to the penalty box for tripping with 6.4 seconds left in the game.

OVERTIME:
7:23pm — Because the penalty ran into OT, it was cut in half as part of the new rule in the AHL (1:00 minors in OT). Nice work by Portland to kill the penalty as it’s now back to 4-on-4.

7:28pm — We’re heading to a shootout….

SHOOTOUT:
Portland is blanked in the shootout as the River Rats come out on top 3-2. Pat Dwyer and Jonathan Paiement scored for Albany.

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