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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pirates keep it Bruin against Providence

Mark Mancari registered his second hat trick of the season, both against Providence, and tied a personal career-high by extending his point streak to 10 games in leading the Portland Pirates to a 5-2 victory over the Providence Bruins in an American Hockey League game played tonight in front of a season-high 7,126 at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The 7,126 fans in attendance equals the third sellout of the year and largest crowd in three years.

Colin Stuart and Dennis Persson also provided goals for the Pirates, as they won their fourth straight at home and moved into a tie for first-place in the Atlantic Division with the Manchester Monarchs sporting a 26-13-4-1 record for 57 points. In the five meetings of the season against Providence, Portland has earned a point in each while totaling a 4-0-1-0 record.

Lane MacDermid and Trent Whitfield tabbed the only Providence goals of the night as their four game win streak came to a halt in dropping their record to 19-20-3-1.

At the 7:13 mark of the first period, Stuart put the Pirates ahead while on a five-on-three power play, capitalizing on a rebound opportunity after shots from T.J. Brennan and Luke Adam were turned away. Providence had an answer four minutes later as MacDermid beat Jhonas Enroth for his third goal of the season. In a tightly contested couple of periods, both goaltenders turned away many scoring chances, until Mancari beat Dalton on a breakaway at the 15:18 mark of the second to give the hosts their second lead of the game. However, the Bruins would have another answer when Whitfield netted his first of the season three minutes into the third period in only his ninth game back from the injured list. With four minutes remaining in the game, Persson blasted home a power-play goal from the point to give the Pirates a lead they would not relinquish. Mancari sealed the game with two goals, including an empty-net tally with under two minutes remaining, to raise his team-leading goal total to 23.

The Bruins out-shot the Pirates 35-32 as Dalton’s record dropped to 7-3-0 and Enroth improved to 14-12-1 on the season.

The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were all from Portland: 1. Mancari, 2. Persson and 3. Drew Schiestel (two assists).



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