Jhonas Enroth and the Portland defense held the top offense in the league to a single score as the Portland Pirates defeated the Norfolk Admirals 2-1 in an American Hockey League game played this evening in front of 3,285 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Derek Whitmore and Mark Mancari provided the scoring for Portland with a goal apiece, and Jhonas Enroth stopped 27 shots as the Pirates improved their Atlantic Division best record to 28-13-4-1. Portland now stands at 17-3-3-1 at home, and won the season series over Norfolk 3-0-0-1.
Johan Harju netted the only Norfolk goal of the night as they lost their second straight while dropping to 24-12-7-2 on the season.
Whitmore got the hosts on the board at 16:23 of the first period, capitalizing on a crossing pass from T.J. Brennan. At the 12:53 mark of the second period, Mancari beat Mike Smith on a breakaway to raise his league leading goal total to 27 and extend the Portland lead to 2-0. Norfolk managed to cut the lead in half with just under eight minutes remaining in the final period on Harju’s tally, but Enroth stood tall the rest of the way in protecting the one-goal advantage.
The Admirals out-shot the Pirates 28-21 as Mike Smith’s record dropped to 0-2-0 and Enroth improved to 16-12-1 on the season.
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were all from Portland: 1. Enroth, 2. Brennan and 3. Mancari.
This weekend the Pirates will be on the road for two divisional matchups. Friday night they will be down in Providence taking on the Bruins at the Dunkin Donuts Center at 7:05 p.m., and will continue on the road to Connecticut to take on the Whale at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. The games can be heard live on 95.5 News Talk WLOB or on-line at www.portlandpirates.com beginning with the pre-game show 15 minutes prior to the opening faceoff.