Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates remain unbeaten in unsatisfying win

Portland, ME – David Leggio made 36 saves for the Portland Pirates as they barely held on for a 2-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in front of 5,506 at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday night.

The Pirates will gladly take the two points to remain undefeated (6-0-0) at home, but Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen certainly wasn’t pleased with process in how they got the result.

“I guess we won two points,” said Dineen. “Our decision making was lacking. I just find us playing a level of riverboat gambler that is going to bite (us) right in the tail, and we got away with one tonight.”

Dineen didn’t hand out many pats on the back, but he acknowledged Leggio’s performance, who made several highlight reel saves including one with 30 seconds left in the game, stopping Jesse Joensuu from point blank range.

“My goaltender was the real deal tonight,” said Dineen. “He put on a performance. I would like to think that I would get a better response than I did out of my team.”

Leggio, getting his third start in three games, backstopped the Pirates to a 3-2 win against Manchester on Oct. 19 with a 35 save performance including eight-of-nine in the shootout.

“I think it’s important that I play well so we have two goalies that are capable of winning games,” said Leggio. “Coming into the season, everyone knew that Jhonas (Enroth) was a great goalie, and I had to prove myself. I’m just trying to earn the confidence of (Dineen).”

The Pirates held a 2-0 lead going into the third period, but like last night in Springfield, the Sound Tigers clawed back midway into the period as Joensuu snapped a shot into the far corner, beating Leggio after the Pirates turned the puck over deep in their defensive zone allowed Joensuu to skate in unfettered from the right circle.

“You’re up 2-0 in the hockey game and you’re getting sloppy,” Dineen said. “You’re getting sloppy and giving up chances and it’s just not the goal. There’s numerous chances before that were sloppy hockey plays.”

“Like I told them, it’s not going to work in the NHL. It doesn’t work in Europe. It doesn’t work in Cape Elizabeth High School.”

“It just doesn’t work.”

Pirates’ defenseman TJ Brennan was anxious to make an impact in the lineup after being a healthy scratch in the Pirates last home game. Just 22 seconds into the game, Brennan blasted a shot from the left point, beating Bridgeport goalkeeper Mikko Koskinen.

“As a second year guy, I don’t think you ever want to be a scratch,” said Brennan. “I think (Dineen) was trying to light a little fire under my butt. I’ve got to wake up there; it’s my second year here. They expect a little more out of me. I expect just as much out of myself.”

The Pirates made it 2-0 with a power play goal at the 8:44 mark of the second period. Mark Mancari working the puck down to the bottom of the left circle dished it off to Matt Ellis in the slot, who snapped a shot by Koskinen.

The Pirates finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play and have scored at least one power play goal in their last three games, after going 0-for-32 in their first six games.

Alex Biega and Travis Turnbull were healthy scratches in place of Jacob Lagace and Nick Crawford.

NOTES: Marc-Andre Gragnani is tied with former Pirate Colin Forbes for 15th all-time in assists (75) after being credited with an assist in last night’s game against Springfield. Forbes is currently playing in Germany with Ingolstadt ERC with former Pirates Felix Schutz, Tyler Bouck, Bruno St. Jacques and Joe Motzko…. Fans who want to bid on a select number of one-of-a-kind game worn jerseys from Saturday’s Breast Cancer Awareness Game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers are encouraged to visit eBay on Monday beginning at 3 p.m. See complete details at

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