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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Portland Pirates Top Manchester Monarchs in Opener 6-5


Well if this is the way the 2010-2011 season will go for the Portland Pirates vs the Manchester Monarch, the season is going to be a doozy.

Derek Whitmore scored two goals and Luke Adam scored his 1st two AHL goals and  and added two assists to beat the Manchester Monarchs 6-5 Satuday in front of 4,631 at the Cumberland County Civic Center Saturday Night.

Whitmore opened the scoring just 5:15 into the contest on a nice rebound off Luke Adam. Adam scored his 1st AHL point on the play.

Manchester answered 5 minutes later when Monarchs winger Richard Clune beat a sprawled Pirates goalie Jhonas Enroth to even things up at 1.

Pirates took a 2-1 lead on a shorthanded goal by Matt Ellis. With Pirates winger Dennis McCauley off for elbowing at 11:29, Ellis stole the puck at center ice, entered the zone with a 2 on 1, dragged the puck in front of Monarch's goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, and slid it home glove side for his first tally of the season.

The Monarchs answered 3 1/2 minutes later, as Dwight King beat Enroth for the equalizer. The 1st period ended with the score tied 2 - 2.

Whitmore wasted little time in the 2nd period, scoring his 2nd of the night just 1:30 in. Whitmore had a nifty rush off left circle and wristed one past Zatkoff's arm pit to make it 3 -2 Pirates.

Manchester answered again some 50 seconds later as David Meckler beat Enroth to even it at 3.

The Monarchs took their first lead at the 10:38 mark of the 2nd period, scoring a shorhanded goal. With Meckler off for Delay of Game, Monarch's D Alex Martinez and C Corey Elkins took a 2 on 1 rush toward Enroth. Martinez delivered a clean pass to Elkins as he reached edge of right circle and Elkins blasted a shot, beating Enroth over his stick side shoulder for the 4-3 lead.

Things stayed that way to the end of the 2nd with Manchester leading 4 - 3.

The third period was a different story as the Pirates put it all together and played more of a complete game. The Pirates gained momentum slowly, but finally broke the ice at 11:54 of the 3rd. Mark Mancari took the puck down the left side, waited til Luke Adam cleared the lane, and flipped it to Adam.Adam gained control and backhanded it past Zatkoff to tie the game at 4. The goal was Adam's 1st AHL goal.

4 minutes later the same tandem put the Pirates ahead for good. Mancari entered the zone on the right again, dragged two defenders with him, allowing Luke to slide behind the D in the goalmouth. Adam again glove side and backhanded, one timed the puck to put the Pirates ahead 5-4.

Mark Mancari seemingly ended things at 19:29 with an empty net goal, but with Zatkoff pulled, John Zeiler scored with 1/10 of a second left to make it a one goal game again.

The Pirates play a matinee game at 1pm Monday vs the former Albany River Rats, now the Charlotte Checkers.

Jeff Schools

Luke Adam

Mark Mancari

Derek Whitmore

Head Coach Kevin Dineen



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