Maine Hockey Journal

Special teams worrisome as Pirates still search for their first win

Albany, NY – The Portland Pirates must feel like its groundhog day.

After losing by a 5-2 score while giving up three power play goals last weekend to the Springfield Falcons, the Pirates did exactly the same thing, giving up three more power play goals to the Albany River Rats, in a 5-2 loss, before a crowd of 2,162 at the Times Union Arena on Friday night.

Photo by Southern Maine Digital Imaging

Photo by Southern Maine Digital Imaging

In the early portion of the season, special teams has clearly been a problem for the Pirates giving up six goals on 11 attempts for opposing teams, while they are 0-for-12 with the man advantage.

“It’s still early in the season,” said Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen at practice on Wednesday. But with three games on the weekend we better get up to speed fairly quickly or else we’ll be in trouble.”

“Our (special teams) were not good (on Saturday) and a real factor in us not winning that hockey game. Those are areas we need to continue to work on.”

The River Rats first goal of the game came on the power play just 4:10 in the first period when Brandon Sutter scored with Travis Turnbull sitting in the box for tripping.

At 9:02, Cody McCormick tied the game at 1-1 as he beat Justin Peters with a quick shot.

Albany took at 2-1 lead as Drayson Bowman found the back of the net, beating Pirates’ goalie Jhonas Enroth at 5:29 of the second period.

Through almost the first 30 minutes of the game, the Pirates battled early penalty troubles as they were called for the first five penalties of the game, before getting their first power play at 6:28 of the second period.

It turned into a brief 5-on-3 for 34 seconds as Zack Fitzgerald was called tripping.

Pirates failed to score on either power play.

At 13:31, Albany made it a two goal lead as Jerome Samson scored for the Rats, giving them a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play.

In the third period, Zach Boychuk scored his first of the season while on the power play as the River Rats made it 4-1 with 10:16 left in the game.

Albany put the game out of reach for Portland as Chris Terry beat Enroth at 14:07 of the third period.

With 1:41 left in the game, Nathan Gerbe finished off a two-on-one rush, beating Peters past the inside post as he pulled Portland to 5-2.

NOTES: The Pirates will play their home opener tomorrow when they take on the Providence Bruins at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The Bruins ended the Pirates season, last year, when they defeated them 4-1 in the Atlantic Division Semifinals. Earlier this week, the Pirates named Brad Larsen as captain of the Portland Pirates. He replaces Tyler Bouck, who was captain of the team for the last two years, before he signed in Germany over the summer. The Buffalo Sabres announced Wednesday that tickets for the Thursday, November 12 (7 p.m.) game between the Portland Pirates and Rochester Americans at HSBC Arena are now on sale.

Ticket prices range from $15-$25, with groups of 15 or more receiving $5 off the box office price. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 1-888-GO-SABRES or visit www.sabres.com.

The Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League announced today that tickets for the 2010 Time Warner Cable All-Star Classic are now on sale by calling (207) 775-3458, visiting the Cumberland County Civic Center Box Office or going on-line at www.portlandpirates.com.

Dunkin’ Donuts shops in Maine announced earlier this week that they have partnered with the Portland Pirates on a program that will send one youth group to each of the Pirates 36 homes games this season.

The program, called the “Dunkin’ Donuts Kids’ Corner,” kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 10 when the Pirates play their first home game against the Providence Bruins at 7 p.m.

Dunkin’ Donuts is currently accepting submissions from youth and charitable organizations interested in attending a game via email at dunkinkidscorner@gmail.com.

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