Maine Hockey Journal

It’s another road loss for the Pirates

This is setting up to be a long season for the Portland Pirates, and not in a way they would like either, as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins scored six goals to defeat Portland, 6-1, in a fight-filled contest before 5,535 at Wachovia Arena on Wednesday night.

The loss dropped Portland to 1-8-0 on the road this season, their worst road start in franchise history, in a game that witnessed five fighting majors handed out to the Pirates, a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct, and a game misconduct for abuse of official by Pirates’ forward Hans Benson.

Wilkes-Barre led 2-0 after one period, 3-0 after two and 5-0 before Mark Mancari scored with 3:59 to play in the game, snapping John Curry’s shutout bid. It was Mancari’s fifth goal of the season as he leads the team in scoring (5g, 8a) with 13 points.

The Pirates gave up three power play goals during the game, further cementing themselves in the basement of special teams in the AHL at (52-for-71) 73.2%.

Earlier in the day, Portland signed Justin Donati from the Elmira Jackals to a professional tryout.

Donati, 5-10, 165-pounds, played 11 games with Elmira, scoring 18 points (4g, 11a) and was the leading rookie scorer in the ECHL, while tied for second in overall scoring.

The 23-year old forward was credited with an assist on Mancari’s goal, and was a plus-1 on the night.

NOTES: Portland will now head to Buffalo, NY, home of the Pirates’ NHL parent the Buffalo Sabres, to take on the Rochester Americans. The Amerks are currently the best team in the AHL with a 12-1-1 record, winning their last 12 games to tie a 54-year old record. They will have an opportunity break the record in front their former NHL parent club, the Sabres, who were affiliated with Rochester for 29-years before moving their affiliation last season to Portland. At the other end of the spectrum, the Pirates are the worst team in the AHL at 5-10-0 and is looking to find a way to keep the ship from completely sinking.

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