Maine Hockey Journal

P-Bruins storm from behind to defeat the Pirates

Portland, ME – The Providence Bruins tied the game with less than minute to play and Kirk MacDonald scored the game-winning goal in overtime for the Bruins as they came from behind to defeat the Portland Pirates, 3-2, in front of 3,926 at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Sunday afternoon.

The Pirates still earned a point for their 11th straight game, but that didn’t soothe the feelings of letting a game get away.

“(The loss) made for a bittersweet ending to a fairly strong weekend,” said Pirates’ head coach Kevin Dineen.

The Pirates, with the point in overtime, are now only one point behind the Worcester Sharks for first place in the Atlantic Division, but the Sharks still have a game in hand that will be played on Wednesday against Hartford.

Because the Pirates only earned one point they still haven’t secured home ice for the playoff as the Manchester Monarchs still have a mathematical chance to get home ice.

Portland had the game in control with less than minute to play, but a breakdown in coverage allowed Zach Hamill to skate into the slot untouched where he fired a wrist shot by Pirates’ goalie JP Lamoureux to tie the game at 2-2 with 46.8 seconds left to play in the game.

“We’d like to think our decision making is stronger in the last minute of the game,” said Dineen. “Those are the quality situations that you want to see guys go out there and take advantage of that ice time.”

“It’s not because they have an empty net, but because you get a chance to do a responsible job,” he said.

“Obviously, we failed there.”

In overtime, MacDonald spilt the Pirates defense, snapping a shot by Lamoureux at the 2:05 mark of the overtime period.

“It was a tough way to lose with a chance to tie for first place, and to give up a late goal. We took five-of-six points on the weekend, but this is a tough way to lose at home,” said Derek Whitmore.

The P-Bruins opened the scoring with a power play goal at 4:12 of the second period just as the Pirates killed off their second five-on-three penalty of the game.

Jordan Knackstedt scored between the legs of Lamoureux after he split between Pirates’ defensemen Mike Kostka and Dennis Persson.

The Pirates tied the game at 14:35 of the second period when Derek Whitmore finished off Kyle Wanvig’s pass through the crease, beating Bruins’ goalie Dany Sabourin.

Cody McCormick put the Pirates out front when he fired a slap shot from the top of the left face-off circle, beating Sabourin midway into the third period.

“This is the time of the year when we want to be clicking on all cylinders and to have a mental lapse,” said Whitmore. “We’ve got to learn from it and not let it happen again.”

NOTES: The Pirates were without Matt Generous, who suffered a left knee injury in Friday’s game against Springfield. He played on Saturday against Bridgeport, but it didn’t improve.

– Jeff Cowan returned to the lineup after a five games absence to deal with personal issues.

– Jhonas Enroth is hoping to be back on the ice for practice this week after missing the last three weeks with a high ankle sprain. Dineen said it would be very doubtful he would see any action before the start of the playoffs.

– The Pirates first two home games in the playoffs will be Friday Apr. 16 and Saturday Apr. 17 at the Civic Center regardless of opponent.

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