Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates frustrations starting to show

Portland, ME — Devan Dubnyk made made 39 saves, leaving the Portland Pirates fuming and visible frustrated as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Springfield Falcons before 3,258 at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Sunday afternoon.

The Falcons have mirrored the Pirates in many respects this season, including a poor road record as Springfield was 2-5-1-0 coming into the game today. In recent games, the Falcons have taken points in three of the last four games as they’ve appeared to have turned a corner after starting the season 0-4 on the road.

Photo by Dan Hickling

Photo by Dan Hickling

Pirates were looking to continue their winning ways at the Civic Center after Phillip Gogulla scored the first goal of the game midway into the first period.

The Falcons came back in the second period, eventually taking the lead, 2-1, on goals by Ryan O’Marra and Colin McDonald.

“Those (goals) are the mistakes that stick out on you and we (had) good goaltending and I thought we pushed hard, but at the end of the day you don’t end up with any points today so there’s no moral victories when you’re under .500 like we are,” said Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen. “We need all the points we can get.”

O’Marra skated into the offensive zone with Drew Schiestel on his flank trying to pick the puck off his stick, and snapped a quick shot with pin point accuracy that beat Pirates’ netminder JP Lamoureux under the crossbar just 44 seconds into the period.

At 6:00, Springfield capitalized on another mistake by Portland as McDonald ripped a wrist shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle that snuck between the blocker and body of Lamoureux to give Springfield a lead they’d never relinquish for the remainder of the game.

“There’s respect for the puck at both bluelines and again, when you make those kinds of mistakes… they cost us a hockey game,” Dineen said.

Photo by Dan Hickling

Photo by Dan Hickling

weren’t without their opportunities, especially in the third period, when they outshot Springfield 19-2, Dubnyk was there to make the saves.

“That’s how you’ve got to get them,” said Falcons’ goalie Devan Dubnyk. “Sunday, coming into another team’s rink. Long bus ride. We managed to get a lead, and we managed to hang on.”

The loss left the Pirates angry at themselves as they attempt to regroup before heading to a series of games on the road, including a home game on Thursday night when they play at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY, home of the Pirates NHL parent club, the Buffalo Sabres.

Lamoureux made 19 saves in the loss as he had his shutout string broken at 85:49, going back to a 6-5 win against the Norfolk Admirals on Oct. 24.

Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play.

NOTES: Mark Mancari had his seven game points scoring streak snapped as he was held of the board. In those seven games, he’s scored three goals, five assists for eight points. The Pirates lost a player in Felix Schutz, but gained a player, Paul Byron, as he returned to the lineup after missing the last three games with an upper body contusion. Schutz is dealing with a shoulder injury from a fight in Portland’s last game against Hershey.

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