Maine Hockey Journal

Missed chances cost the Pirates

Worcester, Mass. – For a team that was poised to clinch a playoff spot, this was not the effort the Portland Pirates wanted to put forward, dropping a 2-1 decision to the hands of the Worcester Sharks on Wednesday evening at the DCU Center.

The Pirates, like the Sharks, were in a position to clinch a playoff spot, if they could manage a single point along with a Manchester loss.

Manchester held their end of the bargain losing, 4-3, to the Harford Wolf Pack.

Unfortunately, the Pirates fail to hold up their end.

“We didn’t get the job done,” said Pirates coach Kevin Dineen. “There is still some work in front of us.”

The first period wasn’t a period the Pirates were very proud about, after being outshot 19-8 in the first period.

Pirates’ goalie Jhonas Enroth kept the game scoreless until 6:53 of the period when Ryan Vesce scored his 24th goal of the season.

Racing down the left wing, Vesce put a harmless shot on net that deflected off Enroth’s glove into the net, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless second period, the Pirates finally got on the board when Felix Schutz drove home the pass from Colton Fretter only 48 seconds into the period.

Fretter driving to the net from the right face off circle, tried to wrap the puck around the net, but flipped it to Schutz, who snapped a quick wrist shot over a Sharks’ goalie Thomas Greiss, tying the game at 1-1.

Less than three minutes later, Dan DeSilva regained the lead for the Sharks, being in the right place and the right time. Steven Zalewski ripped a booming shot that sat in the crease, DeSilva crashing the net slammed the puck by Enroth, giving the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 3:18 of the third period.

It was a lead the Sharks never let go.

“They looked more desperate than we did for most parts of the game,” said Pirates’ captain Tyler Bouck. “We had our chances we just didn’t score.”

“That’s why they’re walking away with the win tonight.”

The magic number for the Pirates is now one point and they will have another chance to clinch on Friday at Cumberland County Civic Center against Providence with a regulation win or overtime/shootout loss.

“I think in the back of our mind (making the playoffs) is there, but we need to forget about that. We have to win no matter what, and it has to be right now, not on Saturday,” said Bouck.

Bouck was animate that Friday was a must win.

“It would be pretty negligent on our part to let that happen.”

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