Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates use a little home cooking to earn first win

Portland, ME – Mark Mancari scored a goal and two assists as the Portland Pirates overcame an 0-2 deficit to defeat the Providence Bruins, 4-2, in their home opener before a crowd of 4,442 at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday night.

“It’s nice (to get a win),” said Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen. “There’s enthusiasm, everybody is nervous and then you get off to a rocky start like we did and you don’t know if it’s going to end so it’s nice to finally put that to bed.”

Photo by Dan Hickling

Photo by Dan Hickling

It didn’t appear the Pirates were going to win for the first 20 minutes of the game. It looked like the same old show for the Pirates, down 2-0, after giving up a pair of power play goals. The Pirates in the early portion of the season are dead last on the penalty kill, giving up eight goals on 16 attempts.

At 7:31 of the first period, Vladimir Sobotka scored his first goal of the season for the P-Bruins while on power play.

The Bruins were actually on a five-on-three power play for 1:29 as Maxime Legault (boarding) and Mike Weber (holding) were whistled for their respective infractions just 31 seconds apart. Brad Larsen made a nice diving save on a shot from the point, but with nine seconds left in Legault’s penalty, Sobotka stuffed the puck by Pirates’ goaltender Jhonas Enroth on the shortside for the 1-0 lead.

Providence were once again on an extended two-man advantage, this time for 1:05, as Dennis Persson was whisked away for tripping, followed by Kyle Rank for the same call just 55 seconds later.

P-Bruins forward Brad Marchand found the rebound from Andy Wozniewski’s from the left point, beating Enroth at 13:53 of the first period.

The Pirates finally got a power play opportunity of their own late in the first period as Drew Fata was called for roughing at 19:12 of the period.

Just 20 seconds into the second period, the P-Bruins made it a two-man advantage for Portland as Bruins’ goaltender Dany Sabourin was called for delay of game, which help set up the Pirates first goal of the game.

As Fata’s penalty expired, Pirates’ forward Mark Mancari, at the top of the left face-off circle, found Nathan Gerbe down below the right face-off dot where he snapped a quick shot by Sabourin at 1:19 of the second period.

“We talked (during intermission) and we knew what we had to do,” said Pirates’ forward Mark Mancari. “We hadn’t had a good start to the season so we just needed to put our work boots on and went out and worked hard.”

The Pirates took their first lead of the season with two goals in a span of 1:47 in the second period.

Photo by Dan Hickling

Photo by Dan Hickling

At 3:41, Mancari, from the left circle, fired a nasty shot through a screen that surprised Sabourin, beating him over his glove to tie the game at 2-2.

Paul Byron made it 3-2 for Portland when he capitalized on a breakdown by Sabourin, scoring his first professional goal at 5:28 of the second period.

With Jeff Cowan sitting at the right post, Byron took a slap shot from the left circle that Sabourin anticipated as pass to Cowan; however, as he went to cut off the play, the puck went between the netminder’s legs, leaving him visibly upset.

With 3:53 left in the game, the Pirates add an insurance marker as Kyle Rank fired a snap shot from the slot by Sabourin, giving the Pirates a 4-2 lead.

The Pirates outplayed the Bruins for the final 40 minutes of the game, outshooting Providence 29-18 during that span.

Jhonas Enroth was solid all night for Portland, stopping 28 of 30 shots on night, while Sabourin made 32 saves in the loss.

Portland went 1-for-7 on the power play, scoring their first of the season in the second period. The Bruins only goals of the games came on the power play as they went 2-for-5 on the night.

NOTES: The Pirates were without Cody McCormick tonight as he’s dealing with some injuries. Dineen didn’t say how long he would be out, but that he had been dealing with them since training camp.

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