Maine Hockey Journal

Second period push Pirates over Bridgeport

Portland, ME – Mark Mancari and Dennis McCauley each scored a goal and an assist late in the second period to give the Portland Pirates a 3-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers before a crowd of 3,003 at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Friday night.

Both goals came within 13 seconds of each other in the final 20 seconds of the period.

“It was a good way to finish the period,” said Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen. “A couple really nice plays by (Mark) Mancari to give us a little space in the third period.

At 19:44, Matt Ellis skated to the left hash mark, dropping a pass to Mancari, who blasted a shot by Sound Tigers goalie Kevin Poulin, giving the Pirates a 2-1 lead.

With 2.6 seconds left on the clock, Mancari in the slot shoveled the puck toward Pirates’ forward Dennis McCauley, tipping it between the legs of Poulin, giving Portland at 3-1 lead.

“We kept working hard, said Mancari. “At the same time, I don’t think we played a great period. We took some bad penalties. We kept trying to put the puck in the middle of the ice and there were no openings.”

“Last couple minutes we were playing simple and doing the right things and everything clicked.”

Bridgeport opened the scoring in the game with a power play goal at 2:38 of the first period.

With Corey Tropp off for interference, the Sound Tigers capitalized scoring only four seconds into the man advantage as Travis Harmonic fired a shot from the right point, beating Pirates netminder Jhonas Enroth.

Derek Whitmore, who sat on the bench for several minutes after being hit awkwardly, tied the game at 1-1 midway into the first period, snapping a quick wrist shot to beat Poulin under the crossbar.

Neither team scored in the third period as Portland kept Bridgeport’s scoring chances to a minimum.

“I liked our game a lot in the third,” said Dineen. “I thought we were responsible and did a lot good things.”

“Overall, I thought we really got contributions… for the most part right throughout the lineup.”

Despite the strong game by the Pirates, the power play continued to be troubled as they went 0-for-8 on the night and 0-for-17 on the season. Still, the Pirates aren’t worried as long as they are winning games.

“It is only three games into the year,” said Mancari. “We’re clicking five-on-five. We’re winning game and fortunately we don’t need the power play. We’re winning games without it, but I think we need to keep working on it.”

“We have so many new guys on the power play and once we get on the same page. I think it’s going to be dangerous.”

NOTES: Luke Adam received his award for winning AHL Player of the Week for last week’s performance. Adam missed the second half of the middle frame after being upended by a Sound Tigers defenseman. He returned to start the third period.

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