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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mancari and Gragnani named First-team AHL All-Stars

Portland Pirates forward Mark Mancari and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani were two of six players announced today by the American Hockey League as members of the 2010-11 AHL All-Star First Team as voted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities.

Mancari has again put up offensive numbers that rank amongst the AHL leaders, ranking tied for third in goals (32), and eighth in overall points (64) in 56 games for Portland. The London, Ontario native has been on recall to Buffalo since March 10th and has earned six points on a goal and five assists in 15 games with the Sabres. Another Pirates player currently on recall to Buffalo, Gragnani has had a record-breaking season for Portland. In 63 games, the veteran defenseman leads the AHL in points by a defenseman (60) and assists (48). Gragnani’s 60 points and 48 assists are both Portland Pirates franchise records for a defenseman. The 24-year-old Montreal, Quebec native has skated in four games for Buffalo this season, while earning his first career NHL point on an assist against the New York Rangers on March 30th.

Rounding out the First Team are Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Brad Thiessen, Houston defenseman Maxim Noreau, Oklahoma City left wing Alex Giroux, and Binghamton center Corey Locke.

Players named to the 2010-11 AHL All-Star Second Team include Hamilton goaltender Curtis Sanford, Binghamton defenseman Andre Benoit, Manchester defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov, Hamilton left wing Nigel Dawes, Hershey center Keith Aucoin, and Chicago Wolves right wing Darren Haydar.

--Pirates Communications--

Brian Flynn and Will O'Neill named 2011-12 Captains for Maine


University of Maine men's ice hockey coach Tim Whitehead announced on Thursday that Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) and Will O'Neill (Salem, Mass.) have been named captains for the 2011-2012 season. Both will be seniors during the upcoming campaign. Classmate Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ontario) along with junior Mike Cornell (Franklin, Mass.) will serve as assistant captains.

Flynn has seen action in 113 career games for the Black Bears, including the last 112 consecutive games. He has 51 goals and 57 assists for 108 career points. Flynn scored a team-high 20 goals last season and dished out 16 assists for 36 points. He scored five power play goals and led the team in game-winning goals with four. Earlier this month, Flynn earned the Hockey East Len Ceglarski Award, given at the end of the season to one player in Hockey East for sportsmanship. Flynn was whistled for just four penalties for eight minutes last season.

O'Neill, a fixture on the blueline the past three seasons, has played in 101 career games. He has 16 goals and 52 assists for 68 career points. He played in 28 games this season, missing eight games with an injury. He tallied four goals and added 17 assists for 21 points.

Abbott has played in 112 career games with 33 goals and 51 assists for 84 career points. He saw action in all 36 games this past season and finished second on the team in scoring with 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points. He lead the Black Bears with eight power play goals and also notched a pair of game-winners.

Cornell, a defenseman, has played in 55 games his first two years with the Black Bears. He has a goal and 10 assists for 11 career points. This year, Cornell played in 29 goals and scored a goal and added seven assists for eight points.

--UMaine Communications--

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sound Tigers roar to a 2-1 win over the Pirates

Brian Day scored his second career American Hockey League goal in four games, both against Portland, and Mikko Koskinen made 33 saves to lead the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Portland Pirates in an American Hockey League game played tonight in front of 2,572 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
          
David Ullstrom tallied the other Bridgeport goal as the Sound Tigers won their second straight against Portland and their record improved to 26-37-4-7 overall.
          
Byron netted the lone Portland goal as the Pirates will have to wait another game to attempt to clinch home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Portland’s record dropped to 44-21-6-2 on the season and they remain three points ahead of the second-place Manchester Monarchs in the Atlantic Division.
          
Byron got the hosts out on top early with a breakaway goal only 3:32 into the first period, and they would keep the lead into the third period. Bridgeport tied the game on a goal by Day at the 9:14 mark, and Ullstrom would give the Sound Tigers the lead only 1:23 later to give Koskinen all he would need to preserve the victory. Day’s goal ended Portland goaltender David Leggio’s shutout streak at 122:45 over a span of three games.
          
The Pirates outshot the Sound Tigers 34-21. Koskinen earned the victory for Bridgeport, raising his record to 9-20-1, and Leggio received the loss in net for Portland as his overall record dropped to 22-8-0.
          
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were: 1. Koskinen, 2. Byron and 3. Ullstrom.

          
Portland will hit the road for three games beginning on Saturday, April 2nd at 7 p.m. when they take on the Manchester Monarchs. The next night (Sunday, April 3), Portland will be in Hartford, CT playing the Connecticut Whale in a 3 p.m. faceoff. Portland’s three-game road trip will conclude in Worcester on Tuesday (April 5) for a 7 p.m. game. All Pirates road games can be heard live on News Talk 95.5 WLOB and on-line at portlandpirates.com beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. in Manchester and Worcester, and 2:45 p.m. in Hartford.    
          
The Pirates will be back in action at the Civic Center on Wednesday, April 6 when the archrival Manchester Monarchs come to town. The first ever Autism Awareness Night presented by the Portland Press Herald will be hosted, and the Pirates will be wearing commemorative jerseys accented with bright puzzle pieces, the international symbol of autism. Funds will be raised for the Autism Society of Maine through advance ticket sales and corporate sponsorships. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, contact Ben Nickerson at 207-828-4665 x 317 or bnickerson@portlandpirates.com.  
            
Tickets for the game, as well as each of the remaining Pirates home games, are on sale now by calling 207-775-3458, visiting the Cumberland County Civic Center Box Office or on-line at ticketmaster.com.

MAINEiacs take 3 - 1 series lead


Etienne Brodeur netted two overtime winners during the regular season, but it was his third overtime winner that will have Lewiston fans buzzing. Brodeur broke a 3-3 tie at the 8:49 mark of overtime, sending the MAINEiacs to an overtime victory in game four of their series against the Moncton Wildcats in front of 3,810 fans at Moncton Coliseum.

The MAINEiacs started the scoring less than four minutes into the opening period. Kirill Kabanov dodged a hit in center ice, and continued down the right side into the offensive zone. After reaching the circle, Kabanov dropped a pass back to Pierre-Olivier Morin, who ripped in a wrist shot, beating Brandon Thibeau on the stick side. Later in the period, Lewiston added to the lead. Once again, Kabanov was involved, as he darted down the right side of the ice. After curling around the back of the cage, the former Wildcat went to a wraparound, sneaking the puck just inside of Thibeau's stick side post.

The Wildcats recorded up the lone goal in the second period, as Allain Saulnier picked up the loose puck off of a rebound in the left circle, beating Nicholas Champion over the blocker.

Early in the third period, Moncton evened the score at two, as Devon MacAusland deflected in Daniel Milan's shot from the right point. Lewiston responded, retaking the lead midway through the frame. Etienne Brodeur picked up the puck on the right side, skated to the middle of the ice, and scored blocker side on a wrist shot. However, the Wildcats answered, tying the score with 3:47 left, while playing with a two-man advantage. Alex Saulnier slid the puck through Champion's legs from the right circle, ultimately forcing overtime.

In the extra session, the MAINEiacs came on top, as a familiar face to the scoresheet got the job done. Etienne Brodeur cruised down the right side of the ice, and picked the top corner over Thibeau's glove, giving Lewiston a 4-3 victory in the game, as well as a 3-1 edge in the series.

Nicholas Champion earned the win, making 39 saves on 42 shots for the MAINEiacs. Brandon Thibeau took the loss, stopping 30 of the 34 shots he faced for Moncton.

The MAINEiacs and Wildcats will now head back to Lewiston for game five of their best-of-seven series, which takes place at 7:00 on Friday night.

-Lewiston MAINEiacs-

Pirates sign Scrymgeour

The Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League announced today that they have signed John Scrymgeour to a tryout agreement.

The 24 year-old forward was playing for Reading in the ECHL where he earned 22 points on 10 goals and 12 assists in 55 games for the Royals. The 6-foot-1 Pickering, Ontario native is in his first professional season following a four-year career at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

The Pirates are back in action at the Civic Center tonight when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers visit Maine for the final time this season in a 6:30 p.m. face-off.

--PIRATES--

Luke Adam named to AHL All Rookie Team

The American Hockey League announced today the 2010-11 AHL All-Rookie Team, as voted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities.

The team consists of one goaltender, two defensemen and three forwards:

2010-11 AHL All-Rookie Team (stats through Mar. 29)
Goaltender - Eddie Lack, Manitoba Moose (49gp, 27-19-3, 2.16gaa, .928sv%, 5so)
Defenseman - Erik Gustafsson, Adirondack Phantoms (65gp, 5+33=38pts., 22 PP pts.)
Defenseman - Brendan Smith, Grand Rapids Griffins (57gp, 12+20=32pts., 4 GWG)
Forward - Luke Adam, Portland Pirates (49gp, 25+29=54pts., +22)
Forward - Zac Dalpe, Charlotte Checkers (56gp, 21+30=51pts., 7 PPG)
Forward - Rhett Rakhshani, Bridgeport Sound Tigers (61gp, 20+35=55pts., 10 PPG)

Each All-Rookie Team member will receive a custom designed crystal award in recognition of his selection to the 2010-11 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Previous selections to the annual AHL All-Rookie Team include J.S. Giguere (1998), Zdeno Chara (1998), Brendan Morrison (1998), Marc Savard (1998), Daniel Briere (1998), J.P. Dumont (1999), Dan Boyle (1999), Cory Sarich (1999), Jonathan Cheechoo (2001), Michael Leighton (2002), Barret Jackman (2002), Ron Hainsey (2002), Jason Spezza (2003), Brad Boyes (2003), Cam Ward (2005), Chris Campoli (2005), Thomas Vanek (2005), Rene Bourque (2005), Kevin Bieksa (2005), Jimmy Howard (2006), Daniel Girardi (2006), Mike Green (2006), Ryan Shannon (2006), Jaroslav Halak (2007), Troy Brouwer (2007), Ryan Callahan (2007), Bobby Ryan (2008), Teddy Purcell (2008), Brian Boyle (2008), Alex Goligoski (2008), Nathan Gerbe (2009), Justin Abdelkader (2009), John Carlson (2010), P.K. Subban (2010), Logan Couture (2010), Lars Eller (2010) and Tyler Ennis (2010).


2010-11 AHL All-Rookie Team

Eddie Lack, Goaltender (Manitoba Moose):
One of the league’s top netminders for Manitoba all season long, Eddie Lack currently leads all AHL rookies in wins (27-19-3), goals-against average (2.16) and save percentage (.928), ranking among the AHL’s top five overall in all three categories while also placing second in the league in minutes played (2,945), shots faced (1,474) and saves (1,368). A native of Norrtalje, Sweden, Lack put together a six-game winning streak in December and has allowed two goals or fewer in 32 of his 49 starts, including five shutouts.

Erik Gustafsson, Defense (Adirondack Phantoms):
After a quick start offensively, Erik Gustafsson improved his two-way play as his rookie season went on and helped Adirondack to a strong second half of 2010-11. The Phantoms’ representative at the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic leads all rookie defensemen in assists (33) and points (38) in 64 games, and he owns a plus-14 rating since Dec. 28, during which time Adirondack has posted a record of 20-13-2-6. The 22-year-old native of Kvissleby, Sweden, also made his NHL debut with Philadelphia this season, appearing in three games with the Flyers.

Brendan Smith, Defense (Grand Rapids Griffins):
A first-round draft choice (27th overall) by the Detroit Red Wings in 2007, Brendan Smith turned pro in 2010-11 after three years at the University of Wisconsin and leads all AHL rookie defensemen in goals (12) while adding 20 assists for 32 points in 57 games. The 22-year-old native of Mimico, Ont., scored a goal just 3:09 into his professional debut on Oct. 8 and has pieced together three separate four-game scoring streaks this season. Smith has also potted four game-winning goals, ranking second among AHL blueliners.

Luke Adam, Forward (Portland Pirates):
The sixth Portland Pirates forward to be named to the All-Rookie team in the last six seasons (following Tyler Ennis, Nathan Gerbe, Tim Kennedy, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Shannon), Luke Adam notched four points on opening night and was named the first Reebok/AHL Player of the Week of the 2010-11 season. Adam has gone on to rank second among all AHL rookies in goals (25), points (54) and plus/minus (+22) in just 49 games with Portland while earning five NHL recalls to Buffalo, where the Sabres’ second-round draft pick in 2008 has three goals and one assist in 19 games. A 20-year-old native of St. John’s, N.L., Adam had an 11-game scoring streak from Feb. 26 to Mar. 22.

Zac Dalpe, Forward (Charlotte Checkers):
Carolina’s second-round draft choice in 2008, 21-year-old Zac Dalpe has notched 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points in 56 games with Charlotte this season, good for third in the AHL in rookie scoring. The native of Paris, Ont., began the season with the Hurricanes and has totaled three goals and one assist in 15 NHL games as well. Dalpe, who was also a CCHA all-rookie selection at Ohio State as a freshman in 2008-09, scored a goal in five straight games from Nov. 6-12 and had back-to-back four-point nights on Jan. 21 and 23.

Rhett Rakhshani, Forward (Bridgeport Sound Tigers):
One of two AHL rookies currently leading his team in scoring (Springfield’s Tomas Kubalik is the other), Rhett Rakhshani ranks first among AHL rookies with 35 assists and 55 points in 61 games for Bridgeport in 2010-11. The 23-year-old native of Huntington Beach, Calif., has had two scoring streaks of seven games each this season, including a stretch of six consecutive multiple-point performances from Dec. 3-18. Rakhshani, a fourth-round pick in the 2006 NHL draft by the New York Islanders, has appeared in two games with the big club as well.

Former Black Bears Nyquist, House rack up more honors

The honors for University of Maine men's ice hockey players Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) and Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) continued on Wednesday. Nyquist was named to the 2010-2011 New England Men's Division I All-Star Team for the second year in a row. House earned the Frank Jones Award as the Best Defensive Forward.

Nyquist earned a spot on the Hockey East First Team and was also named one of the 10 finalists for the 2011 Hobey Baker Award.

Nyquist saw action in all 36 games for the Black Bears. He scored 18 goals and added 33 assists for finish with 51 points. He led Maine in scoring for the third year in a row. Nyquist had six power play goals and a pair of short handed tallies.

Nyquist, who last week signed a professional contract with the Detroit Red Wings, finished his career ranked tied for 17th on Maine's all-time scoring list with 50 goals and 94 assists for 144 career points.

House was named the Best Defensive Forward in Hockey East this year as well. A two-year captain, he saw action in 35 games and scored 10 goals and dished out 25 assists for 35 points this season. He finished a +13 in Hockey East league games this season.

House recently signed a professional contract with the Edmonton Oilers.

-UMaine Communications-

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pirates whitewash Bruins

Nick Tuzzolino scored his first career American Hockey League goal and David Leggio made 28 saves en route to his third shutout of the season to lead the Portland Pirates to a 3-0 victory over the Providence Bruins in an American Hockey League game played tonight in front of 3,872 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Dennis McCauley and T.J. Brennan also found the back of the net for the Pirates their record improved to 44-20-6-2 overall and 24-7-5-1 at home. The win snapped a four-game losing skid at home, and a three-game losing streak overall.

Providence lost its fifth straight game against Portland at the Cumberland County Civic Center this season while dropping to 33-35-3-3.

Portland stormed out of the gates for two goals in the first 5:22 of the game, to give them a quick two-goal advantage. McCauley redirected a shot from Nick Crawford past Providence goaltender Anton Khudobin at the 3:30 mark, and Tuzzolino scored his first career AHL goal less than two minutes later to cap the first period scoring. The pace would cool down over the next two periods, as no changes were made on the scoreboard until Brennan iced the game with an empty-net goal with 55 seconds remaining.

Both teams totaled 28 shots on net as David Leggio improved his record to 22-7-0. Anton Khudobin received the loss in net for Providence as his overall record dropped to 26-15-2.

The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were: 1. Tuzzolino, 2. Leggio and 3. McCauley.

Maineiacs take a 2-1 series lead on Moncton

The Lewiston MAINEiacs are now in the lead in their best-of-seven first round playoff series, following Tuesday night's game against the Moncton Wildcats. Alex Zafiris broke a 2-2 tie late in the second period, and Michael Chaput added some insurance in the third, as Lewiston picked up a 4-2 win in front of 3,806 fans at Moncton Coliseum.

The first period of the contest saw more action than some full games do, as two goals, 30 shots, and eight power plays made their way onto the scoresheet. Moncton started the scoring in the first period, as Daniel Pettersson found the twine with a low wrist shot from the right wing wall. The MAINEiacs evened things up later in the period on a 5-on-3, as Sam Carrier rocketed home a one-timer from the left point.

Early in the second period, Lewiston took the lead for the first time in the game. Sam Carrier sent a wrist shot in from the right point that was deflected in the slot by Cameron Critchlow. The play was reviewed for a high stick by Critchlow, but the goal was confirmed, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead.

Later in the period, the Wildcats tied the score, as Daniel Pettersson dashed down the left side, and beat Nicholas Champion with a shorthanded tally. However, the MAINEiacs were quick to respond, retaking the lead 30 seconds later. Cameron Critchlow and Sam Henley crashed the net hard, and Alex Zafiris ultimately whacked the puck in over the line, putting his side back on top.

Lewiston held onto that lead until the final few minutes of regulation, when they added some insurance. With 2:49 remaining, Michael Chaput deked out a defender in the slot, before sniping a wrist shot over Brandon Thibeau's glove, giving the game a 4-2 final score.

Nicholas Champion picked up the win for the MAINEiacs, making 24 saves on 26 shots. Brandon Thibeau took the loss for Moncton, stopping 34 of the 38 shots he faced.

The MAINEiacs and Wildcats will play game four of their best-of-seven series in Moncton on Wednesday night at 6:00. The teams will then return to Lewiston for a 7:30 face-off at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in game five on Friday night.

-MAINEIACS COMMUNICATIONS-

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gragnani recalled by Sabres

With Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time due to injury, Pirates defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani was recalled from Portland (AHL) and practiced with the Sabres on Monday.

Gragnani has appeared in three games with Buffalo already this season, averaging 13:32 of ice time in those games. He also ranks second on the Pirates in scoring this season with 60 points (12-48-60) in 63 games.

Gragnani is currently the seventh defenseman on the roster but also has the ability to play forward, which played into the decision to call him up, according to Ruff.

“We’ve looked at our defense, and it’s easier to have an extra defenseman here. (Gragnani) has played some forward, so we’ve talked about that,” Ruff said.

Mark Mancari also practiced with the Sabres on Monday. He had been returned to Portland prior to Saturday night’s game, but Ruff informed the media today that Mancari had been brought back under emergency conditions because Mike Grier aggravated his knee on Saturday and did not practice Monday. However, Ruff does not expect Grier to miss Tuesday’s game at Toronto.

“(Grier) is doing ok, we just decided to give him an extra day. He’s a little sore but I don’t expect it to be anything that will keep him away from playing,” Ruff said.

--PIRATES/SABRES COMMUNICATIONS--

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pirates jumped by Checkers 5 - 4 but still clinch playoff spot

Chris Terry scored two goals and Zach Boychuk earned three points on a goal and two assists to lead the Charlotte Checkers to a 5-4 victory over the Portland Pirates in an American Hockey League game played tonight in front of 5,420 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
          
Cedric McNicoll and Jacob Micflikier also scored for the Checkers as their record improved to 40-25-2-7 overall and 21-13-1-3 on the road.
          
Jacob Lagace recorded the first two-goal game of his AHL career in the loss. Mark Parrish and Mark Voakes also scored for the Pirates as they dropped their third straight game, dropping to 43-20-6-2 with the loss.
          
Lagace put the hosts up early in a high scoring first period, notching his eighth goal of the season only two minutes into the game. McNicoll and Terry provided an answer for Charlotte, giving them a brief 2-1 lead at the 16:48 mark. With 19 seconds remaining in the period, Voakes tipped in a rebound to send the game into the first intermission tied at two. In the second period both teams combined for 29 shots, but the only tally came from Parrish at 17:43 to give Portland their second lead of the game. The Checkers struck quickly in the third period, with Sanguinetti capitalizing on a four-on-four opportunity at 2:50 and Terry connecting on a power-play goal for his second of the game 85 seconds later. Charlotte upped their lead to two when Boychuk scored at 6:29, and would hold on for the victory after Lagace made the game interesting by cutting the lead to one with just under four minutes remaining in the game.
          
The Checkers out-shot the Pirates 40-36 as Justin Pogge improved his record to 19-16-4. David Leggio received the loss in net for Portland as his overall record dropped to 21-7-0.
          
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were: 1. Boychuk, 2. Lagace and 3. Micflikier.
          
The Pirates and USA Hockey are proud to offer all USA Hockey Members in the state of Maine, their families and friends the ability to buy discounted tickets to the Tuesday evening (March 29th) showdown against the Providence Bruins. Visit the promotions page on the Portland Pirates website to order your discount tickets. Fans are encouraged to come to the game right after work and enjoy great food and beverage specials in the Civic Center’s Penalty Box Grill, which will open at 4:30 p.m., as well as the following Pirates partners: Portland Pie Company, Rivalries, Gritty’s, Nosh Kitchen Bar, Binga’s Stadium, Dogfish CafĂ©, Walters and Yosaku. It is also Pirates Date Night presented by WJBQ, WCYY and WBLM. Visit RiRa Irish Pub or G&R DiMillo's for dinner for two and two tickets to the game for only $19.99.
          
Join Salty Pete Pacers, or any other Southern Maine Heart Walk Team, and receive a free ticket to see the Pirates play the Bridgeport Sound Tigers the following night on Wednesday, March 30th at 6:30 p.m. Visit the promotional page on the Portland Pirates website to purchase tickets with $3 from each additional ticket purchased being donated to the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association will be selling Mystery Pucks signed by a Pirates player for $10 at the game. There are numerous additional prizes to be won including an autographed Pirates jersey.
          
Tickets for the game, as well as each of the remaining Pirates home games, are on sale now by calling 207-775-3458, visiting the Cumberland County Civic Center Box Office or on-line at ticketmaster.com.

PLAYOFF TICKET INFO

PLAYOFFS STRIPS

Playoff strips for the 2011 Portland Pirates Playoff Hockey, MISSION: 16W, powered by Time Warner Cable will go on sale tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the Pirates Office located at 94 Free Street.
      
Playoff strips are only available to existing 2010-11 full, half or mini ticket package holders or those who have committed to a full, half or mini ticket package for 2011-12.
        
A $50 deposit per seat reserves your seat locations for all four potential rounds of the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs and ensures the best possible seats for the playoffs at big savings. Playoff strips also eliminate the need to wait in long Box Office lines or pay any additional fees.
          
All current Season Ticket Holders will receive direct communication in the form of a letter or email message outlining special post season benefits not available to the general public.
          
Premium or Main Deck strips are $224 for adults while Quarter Deck adult strips are $176. Premium, Main or Quarter Deck Strips for youth, senior or students are $144.
          
Deposits for playoff seat locations must be received no later than Wednesday, April 6th.

To purchase your strips for the 2011 Portland Pirates Playoff Hockey, MISSION: 16W, powered by Time Warner Cable call 207-828-4665 ext. 350.
          
GROUP PLAYOFF TICKETS

Groups interested in making arrangements to attend a Pirates playoff game are encouraged to call 207-828-4665 ext. 350.
          
INDIVIDUAL PLAYOFF TICKETS

Individual tickets for Round 1 of Pirates Playoff Hockey, MISSION 16W, powered by Time Warner Cable will go on sale at the Cumberland County Civic Center Box Office when dates and opponent are finalized.

-PORTLAND PIRATES-

MAINEiacs even series with 2-1 win against Moncton


On Saturday night, the Lewiston MAINEiacs bounced back, tying their best-of-seven series with the Moncton Wildcats at one game a piece. It was a defensive type of game, as only three goals were scored, and a combined total of 45 shots made their way onto the net. In the end, Lewiston's pair of tallies made the difference in a 2-1 win in front of 1,729 fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The MAINEiacs opened the scoring at the 5:59 mark of the first period. Dillon Fournier handed the puck to Michael Chaput, who started a rush down the right side of the ice. After cruising past a defender, Chaput cut to the middle, taking a wrist shot that flew past Brandon Thibeau's glove. Zach Shannon also assisted on Chaput's first playoff marker of 2011.

In the second period, Lewiston added to their lead. Olivier Dame-Malka skated the puck into the offensive zone, before teeing up a slap shot that rifled into the back of the cage. Jonathan Parisien and Michael Chaput both assisted on the tally, giving all three players two points in the series.

The Wildcats got a goal back with 1:23 remaining in the middle frame, as Alex Saulnier sent a pass across the ice to his brother Allain, who drilled a one-timer into the top of the net. Simon Jodoin also assisted on Allain Saulnier's second tally of the series.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the third period, as both defenses were sharp until the finish. When the final buzzer sounded, Lewiston had the 2-1 win.

Nicholas Champion picked up the win for the MAINEiacs, making 17 saves on 18 shots. Brandon Thibeau took the loss for Moncton, despite stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced.

The MAINEiacs and Wildcats will now head to Moncton for games three and four of the series on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Both games will begin at 6:00. Lewiston's next home game will be on Friday night at 7:30, when the two teams return to the United States for game five.

-LEWISTON MAINEiacs-

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pirates in the Community: Voakes visits BBCH


Portland Pirates forward Mark Voakes visited the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital on Thursday afternoon.

Voakes spent some of his time playing table hockey with Cameron Kimmick (pictured), an eight year-old Barbara Bush Children's Hospital patient. Voakes also visited other patients in their rooms while on the floor at the Maine Medical Center.

--COURTESY PIRATES COMMUNICATION--

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pirates get bitten late again, lose to Sharks 5-4 Tuesday

John McCarthy netted the game-winning goal 16 seconds into the extra overtime period and Worcester stormed back from a first period three-goal deficit as the Sharks topped the Portland Pirates 5-4 in an American Hockey League game played today in front 5,108 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
          
Patrick Davis, Dan DaSilva, Nick Schaus, and Joe Loprieno all tallied goals for Worcester as their record improved to 33-26-4-8 and moved within one point of a playoff spot.
          
Corey Tropp, Derek Whitmore, Dennis McCauley, and Paul Byron all scored for Portland as their three-game winning streak came to an end on a day where they would have clinched a playoff spot with a regulation or overtime victory. The Pirates record fell to 43-18-6-2 with the loss but extended their divisional lead over Manchester to three points.
          
Portland struck early and often in the first period, led by a Tropp goal only 13 seconds into the game. Tropp’s tally set a new franchise record for Portland for quickest goal, topping the mark set by Mark Murphy on November 24, 2000 against the Quebec Citadelles (14 seconds). Whitmore and McCauley extended the lead to three with goals one minute apart, before Davis put the Sharks on the board with a shorthanded goal at 17:38. Special teams struck again for Worcester as DaSilva notched a power-play goal three minutes into the second period to cut the lead to one, but Byron would double the Portland advantage two minutes later. Schaus again trimmed the Portland lead at 12:29 of the second to make the score 4-3 Pirates heading into the final period. Loprieno struck late in the third with a tally at 16:37, and McCarthy finished the comeback in overtime to give the Sharks their second straight victory.
          
The Sharks out-shot the Pirates 31-28 as Worcester goaltender Carter Hutton improved his record to 9-4-2. Portland netminder David Leggio made 26 saves as his overall record dropped to 21-6-0.
          
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were: 1. McCarthy, 2. Loprieno and 3. Byron.
          
The Pirates will return to action at the Civic Center this weekend, starting on Friday, March 25th when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers come to town for a 7 p.m. start. The first 1,000 fans into the game receive a free toothbrush courtesy of Northeast Delta Dental and Snoopy will be in attendance courtesy of MetLife Auto and Home. All Gritty’s Mug Club Members can take advantage of exclusive special discounts. Visit portlandpirates.com to find out how you can become a Gritty’s Mug Club Member.
          
Come back to the Civic Center on Saturday, March 26th for a special night, featuring the induction of Martin Gendron into the Pirates Hall of Fame, presented by UNUM. Gendron will be the 14th member of the Pirates Hall of Fame, following the recent additions of Chris Jensen, Tom Ebright, and Jim Carey. The Pirates and the Pine Tree Council will be hosting Boy Scouts from across the state of Maine for the annual Boy Scout Sleepover. Special admission for Boy Scouts and their family and friends includes game ticket, private post-game skating party, and a movie on the center-ice videoboard. It is also the Pirates Night of Champions, as all state championship athletes and coaches can receive complimentary tickets to the game and be recognized throughout the game. Discounted tickets for family, friends, and faculty are available for $7.00 off the regular price. For more information or to purchase tickets call the Pirates ticket office at 207-828-4665 ext. 317 (for Boy Scouts) or ext. 328 (for Night of Champions discounts).
          
Tickets for the game, as well as each of the remaining Pirates home games, are on sale now by calling 207-775-3458, visiting the Cumberland County Civic Center Box Office or on-line at ticketmaster.com.

-Portland Pirates-

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pirates stripe Bruins

Marc-Andre Gragnani scored a goal and three assists to lead the Portland Pirates to a 5-3 win over the Providence Bruins in an American Hockey League game played this afternoon at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Mark Voakes and Mark Parrish each added a goal and an assist for the Pirates while Jacob Lagace and Alex Biega rounded out the scoring. Portland moved to 43-18-5-2 with the win and into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division after Manchester lost 3-2 to Worcester earlier today.

Jamie Arniel paced the Bruins with two goals. Trent Whitfield netted the other. Providence dropped to 31-33-3-3 on the season.

Arniel scored just 1:52 into the game to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead but Gragnani answered the early goal on the power play midway through the period to tie the score at one after one. Lagace and Voakes scored in the opening 14 minutes of the second to give the Pirates a 3-1 advantage. The Bruins wouldn’t go quietly in the period as Arniel, with his second of the game, and Whitfield scored in a span of 52 seconds to get the home team back even at three. The Pirates inched back into the lead with four tenths of a second left in the second as Parrish connected to send Portland into the third up 4-3. Biega scored 61 seconds into the third to complete the scoring.
Shots were even in the game at 30 as Jeff Jakaitis posted his second victory of the season for Portland.

The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the Game were 1. Gragnani, 2. Arniel and 3. Voakes.

The Pirates return to the Civic Center on Tuesday to host their second annual School Day Game, presented by Irving Oil and Modern Woodmen of America. The Worcester Sharks come to town for a special 11 a.m. start. This special event is designed to help encourage students to eat healthy and stay active and educated. Students participating receive a complimentary health booklet prior to the game that has fun interactive activities. The UNUM Challenge also continues between the Pirates and Sharks. At each game in each city one luck fan is chosen as the UNUM Challenge Fan of the Game. Visit portlandpirates.com to enter.

--PIRATES COMMUNICATIONS--

Maineiacs end regular season on winning note: Playoffs start Friday

For the second time in franchise history, the Lewiston MAINEiacs put together a 40-win season. The 40th win came in the regular season finale on Sunday afternoon, as Michael Chaput, Pierre-Olivier Morin, and Etienne Brodeur lit the lamp, while Andrey Makarov made 23 saves. Those efforts gave visiting Lewiston a 3-1 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in front of 3,294 fans at Centre Georges Vezina.

The MAINEiacs got the scoring started 8:51 into the opening period. Dillon Fournier set up the play, skating into the zone, before handing the puck to Matt Bissonnette. Bissonnette dropped a pass off to Michael Chaput, who wound up for a big slap shot from the left circle. A Chicoutimi defender blocked the shot with his stick, which slowed up the puck, confusing Christopher Gibson, as the puck trickled into the goal.

In the second period, the Sagueneens tied the score. Guillaume Asselin had his shot blocked in the left circle, but the blocked shot deflected into the right circle. The puck was sitting in good position for Steve Lebel, who pounced on it, firing a shot in past a lunging Andrey Makarov.

Lewiston regained their advantage 40 seconds into the third period. Kirill Kabanov intercepted a clearing attempt, deflecting a pass to Etienne Brodeur. Brodeur spotted Pierre-Olivier Morin cruising toward the net, so he slipped a pass his way, and Morin did the rest, netting his 15th goal of the season. With five minutes remaining, the MAINEiacs added an insurance goal, as Brodeur received an outlet feed from Sam Carrier, dashed down the right side, and ripped a wrist shot over Gibson's right shoulder. Brodeur's first goal of the season started the year for Lewiston, while his 53rd goal of the year was the team's final tally of the campaign, as the MAINEiacs picked up the 3-1 win.

Andrey Makarov earned the victory in goal for Lewiston, making 23 saves on 24 shots. Christopher Gibson took the loss for Chicoutimi, despite stopping 34 of the 37 shots he faced.

The MAINEiacs will begin the playoffs on Friday night at 7:30, when they play host to the Moncton Wildcats at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

--LEWISTON MAINEIACS--

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pirates trap Bears in OT

Mark Parrish scored the winner 2:51 into overtime and added two assists as the Portland Pirates came-from behind to top the Hershey Bears 4-3 in an American Hockey League game played tonight in front of 10,737 at the Giant Center.

Matt Ellis, Paul Byron and T.J. Brennan also scored for the Pirates while Luke Adam collected two assists. Portland upped their record to 42-18-5-2 with the win and moved into a tied with Manchester for first in the Atlantic Division after the Monarchs lost 2-1 in overtime to Bridgeport.

Andrew Joudrey, Patrick McNeill and Andrew Gordon scored for the Bears, now 42-22-2-5 on the season.

The Bears got on the board early as Joudrey connected just 1:34 into the game to give the home side a 1-0 lead. Ellis answered on the power play to even the count but just three minutes later Hershey netted a power-play goal of their own as McNeill struck to give the Bears a 2-1 lead after one. Gordon made it a 3-1 eight minutes into the second period with the Bears second straight power-play goal but Byron brought the Pirates back to within one before the end of the second, finishing off a two-man break and leaving Portland down by one after two. Brennan forced overtime with a power-play goal with just under six minutes remaining in regulation.

The Pirates out shot the Bears 31-30 in the game as David Leggio posted the victory.
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the Game were 1. Parrish, 2. McNeill and 3. Bears forward Boyd Kane (two assists).

The Pirates complete a three-game road trip tomorrow (Sunday) when they travel to Providence for a 4:05 p.m. game against the Bruins. The game can be heard live on News Talk 95.5 WLOB and on-line at portlandpirates.com beginning with the pre-game show at 3:45 p.m.

The Pirates return to the Civic Center on Tuesday to host their second annual School Day Game, presented by Irving Oil and Modern Woodmen of America. The Worcester Sharks come to town for a special 11 a.m. start.

--PIRATES COMMUNICATIONS--

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pirates impeach Senators

Mark Parrish, Mark Voakes and Derek Whitmore each scored to lead the Portland Pirates to a 3-2 win over the Binghamton Senators in an American Hockey League game played tonight in front of 3,131 at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
The win moved the Pirates to 41-18-5-2 on the season and within one point of Manchester for first in the Atlantic Division after the Monarch dropped a 1-0 decision to the Connecticut Whale tonight.

Jim O’Brien scored both goals for the Senators, now 34-27-3-4 on the year.
O’Brien netted the lone goal of the opening period to give the Senators a 1-0 lead after one. The Pirates jumped out quickly in the second with goals by Parrish and Voakes in the opening 4:19 to grab a 2-1 lead. O’Brien connected for his second of the game less than two minutes after the Pirates grabbed the lead to send the two teams into the third tied at two. Whitmore scored what turned out to be the deciding goal 12 minutes into the third.

The Pirates out shot the Senators 35-21 in the game as David Leggio posted the win.
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the Game were 1. Whitmore, 2. O’Brien and 3. Parrish.

The Pirates continue a three-game road trip tomorrow (Saturday) when they travel to Hershey to face the Bears at 7 p.m. Sunday the trip concludes in Providence with a 4:05 p.m. game in Providence against the Bruins. Both games can be heard live on News Talk 95.5 WLOB and on-line at portlandpirates.com beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. from Hershey, and 3:45 p.m. m Providence.

The Pirates return to the Civic Center on Tuesday to host their second annual School Day Game, presented by Irving Oil and Modern Woodmen of America. The Worcester Sharks come to town for a special 11 a.m. start. This special event is designed to help promote students to eat healthy and stay active and educated. Students participating receive a complimentary health booklet prior to the game that has fun interactive activities. The UNUM Challenge also continues and the Pirates can seal their third UNUM Challenge victory in the past five years with a win.

--PIRATES COMMUNICATIONS--

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nyquist, Van Dyk Named to Hockey East Teams;Nyquist also HB Finalist

University of Maine men's ice hockey players Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) and Josh Van Dyk (Woodstock, Ontario) were named Hockey East All-Conference selections on Thursday night at the annual Hockey East Banquet held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Mass. Nyquist was named to the Hockey East First Team for the second straight year, while Van Dyk was named to the Second Team.

Nyquist has also been named as one of 10 finalists for the 2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, announced on Thursday, March 17. Nyquist was one of three student-athletes named to the Hobey Hat Trick in 2010.

Nyquist was a unanimous selection to the 2010 Hockey East First Team. This year, he played in all 36 games for the Black Bears. He scored 18 goals and had 33 assists for 51 points. He had six power play goals and a pair of short handed goals. He currently ranks tied for seventh in the nation in scoring.

Nyquist had scoring streaks of 10 games, nine games and seven games on the season. He finished the season scoring two or more points in his final seven games. He scored his first career hat trick at #6 New Hampshire on Feb. 4. Nyquist was named the Hockey East Association Player of the Month for February after he scored 10 goals and dished out four assists. He set a school record on Feb. 12 when he scored a goal just six seconds into Maine's game against Vermont. He tallied at least one point in 30 of Maine's 36 games this season.

Nyquist has 50 goals and 94 assists for 144 career points in 113 career games. He currently ranks tied for 17th on Maine's all-time scoring list.

Van Dyk was named to the Hockey East Second Team. He had an outstanding senior season for the Black Bears, seeing action in all 36 games played. He scored three goals and added 15 assists for 18 points. He tied for the team-lead in +/- with a +9 on the season. He finished as a runner-up for the Hockey East Old Time Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman Award.

Van Dyk scored a goal in each game on Senior Weekend against Merrimack. He also tallied a goal the following weekend at UMass. Twice in the final five games of the season he tied his career high with three points. He had a goal and an assist on Feb. 26 against Merrimack, before dishing out three assists on March 5 at UMass.

Van Dyk saw action in 140 career games, the most of any current Black Bear. He saw action in 91 consecutive games, the second longest streak on the team.

-UM-

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

4 Black Bears (and BC's Brian Dumoulin) get Hockey East Honors

Four University of Maine men's ice hockey players have been honored by Hockey East. Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) was named the Gladiator Best Defensive Forward, Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) received the Len Ceglarski Sportsmanship Award, while Jeff Dimmen (Colorado Springs, Colo.) received the Turfer Athletic Award. In addition, Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) was named to the Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team.

House, who saw action in 35 games, was named the Gladiator Best Defensive Forward. The captain of the Black Bears, House scored 10 goals and dished out 25 assists for 35 points his senior season. He had four power play goals and one short handed tally. He finished the season with a +8 rating. He becomes the first Black Bears to win the award since Todd Jackson (2003–04).

Flynn earned the prestigious Len Ceglarski Award given for individual sportsmanship. The award is given to a player who consistently demonstrates superior conduct and sportsmanship on the ice. The award was established in 1992 and voted upon by head coaches, sports information directors and league officials.

Flynn saw action in all 36 games for the Black Bears. He led the team with 20 goals and had 16 assists for 36 points. He drew just four penalties for eight minutes and led the team with four game-winning goals. In Hockey East play, he played in 27 games and scored 15 goals and dished out 15 assists for 30 points, while being whistled for just three penalties for six minutes.

It is the seventh time that a Black Bear has earned the Len Ceglarski Award. Steve Kariya won the award three times (1996–97, 1997–98, and 1998–99), Cory Larose (1999–00), Martin Kariya (2002–03) and Mike Lundin (2006–07) have all been honored with the award.

Dimmen earned the Turfer Athletic Award. The Turfer Athletic Award, which is presented annually to an individual, coach or team who best represents the core values of Turfer Athletics; tenacity, commitment and innovation. Dimmen saw action in 29 games for the Black bears during his senior season. Named an assistant captain for the second year in a row, Dimmen scored seven goals and added nine assists for 16 points. He scored four power play goals. Dimmen battled ankle injuries during his senior season and often played when he was not 100 percent.

Sullivan was named to the 2011 Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team. He saw action in 21 games during his freshman season and finished 10-7-2 with a 2.73 goals against average and a .890 save percentage. Sullivan had three shutouts on the season. He set the school record for longest shutout sequence at 202:48.

He becomes the 26th player in Maine history to earn Hockey East All-Rookie Team honors.

BC sophomore Brian Dumoulin (Biddeford, Maine) will be the recipient of the Old Time Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman award. Dumoulin led all league blueliners with 23 points and his +13 rating in league play was fifth best among defensemen.

Additional Hockey East honors will be announced on Thursday night at the annual Hockey East banquet in Cambridge, Mass.

--HOCKEY EAST AND UM COMMUNICATIONS--

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pirates crowned by Monarchs

ake Muzzin registered a goal and an assist and Jordan Nolan scored the game-winner as the Manchester Monarchs defeated the Portland Pirates 4-2 in an American Hockey League game played today in front 5,487 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Zeiler and Holloway also notched goals for Manchester as their record improved to 40-21-2-6 and moved back into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division.

Luke Adam and Marc-Andre Gragnani tallied goals for Portland as their season long six-game winning streak came to an end. With his goal in the first period, Gragnani set a new Portland franchise record for points by a defenseman in a single season with his 54th, topping Brian Salcido’s mark set during the 2007-08 season. The Pirates record fell to 40-18-5-2 and on the season.

Portland quickly earned a two-goal advantage before the first period was halfway through, as Adam scored unassisted at 5:41 and Gragnani followed with a power-play goal four minutes later. Manchester rounded out the scoring in the opening frame, cutting the deficit in half on Muzzin’s third goal of the season. Zeiler tied the game at two with the only goal of the second period at 11:26, as the Monarchs outshot the Pirates 13-3 in the period. The Monarchs continued their surge late in the third period, led by Nolan’s fifth goal of the season at the 14:22 mark and Holloway sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 42 seconds remaining.

The Monarchs out-shot the Pirates 38-28 as Manchester goaltender Jeff Zatkoff improved his record to 17-12-5. Portland netminder David Leggio lost for the first time in his past 10 decisions as his overall record dropped to 19-5-0.

The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were: 1. Nolan, 2. Adam and 3. Muzzin.

Portland hits the road for three games in the upcoming weekend facing the Binghamton Senators, Hershey Bears, and Providence Bruins. On Friday (March 18), the game can be heard live from the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton as the Pirates face the Senators in a 7:05 p.m. start. The next night (Saturday, March 19), Portland will be in Hershey, PA taking on the Bears in a 7 p.m. faceoff, and the weekend wraps up in Providence on Sunday (March 20) for a 4:05 p.m. game. All Pirates road games can be heard live on News Talk 95.5 WLOB and on-line at portlandpirates.com beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. in Binghamton and Hershey, and 3:45 p.m. in Providence.

The Pirates will return to the Civic Center on Tuesday, March 22nd where they will be hosting their second annual School Day Game, presented by Irving Oil and Modern Woodmen of America. The Worcester Sharks come to town for a special 11 a.m. start.

Maineiacs fall to Gatineau

The wait to 50 is over for Etienne Brodeur. The 19-year old forward became the first Lewiston MAINEiac to reach the 50-goal plateau, as he found the back of the net with 6:26 left to go in the third period. Unfortunately, Tye McGinn and the Gatineau Olympiques got the upper hand, as McGinn's four-goal, five-point effort helped the visitors to an 8-5 victory in front of 2,701 fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The game started in similar fashion to Friday's tilt between the two sides, as both teams lit the lamp once in the first period. Cody Linteau put the Olympiques on top, deflecting in a cross-crease pass by Tye McGinn at the 6:58 mark. With 5:47 remaining in the frame, Lewiston evened things up, as Ian Saab's wrist shot found its way in.

For the second straight game, the second period got crazy. After a goal by the MAINEiacs was disallowed, Gatineau received a power play, and needed just 24 seconds to cash in, as Tye McGinn wired in a shot from the right circle. 46 seconds later, the Olympiques scored again, as Philippe Halley knocked in a loose puck. Igor Levitsky's backhand tally made the score 4-1, before Lewiston went on a surge at the end of the second. Sam Carrier snapped home a pass from Etienne Brodeur for his tenth of the season, before Cameron Critchlow's redirection off of Sam Henley's pass brought the home team within one. The MAINEiacs' two goals came 38 seconds apart.

In the third period, the Olympiques added to their lead with two power play goals and an even strength goal, separated by just 2:37. Tye McGinn was credited with all three markers, giving him four on the game, to go along with one helper. The MAINEiacs weren't about to let Gatineau cruise to victory, as two tallies in 1:29 brought them within two. Sam Henley redirected Olivier Dame-Malka's point shot for Lewiston's fourth goal, before Etienne Brodeur batted his 50th goal of the season out of the air. Philippe Halley finished off the win for the Olympiques with an empty net tally.

Francois Lacerte picked up the win for Gatineau, stopping 23 of 28 shots. Andrey Makarov allowed seven goals on 21 shots, before being replaced by Nicholas Champion, who was perfect on five shots.

The MAINEiacs will finish the 2010-11 campaign with two road games in Baie-Comeau and Chicoutimi on Friday and Sunday, before returning home to start the playoffs, tentatively on March 25th.

--MAINEIACS COMMUNICATIONS--

Pirates trap Bruins

Colin Stuart capitalized on a five-on-three power play with 1:28 remaining and Jeff Jakaitis made 45 saves in his Pirates debut as Portland defeated the Providence Bruins 5-4 in an American Hockey League game played tonight in front of a sellout crowd of 6,864 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Luke Adam, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Paul Byron, and Dennis McCauley also scored for the Pirates. With his 43rd assist, Gragnani broke his own franchise record set back during the 2008-09 season for assists by a defenseman in a season. Portland improved their record to 40-17-5-2 with their sixth straight win, and raised their American Hockey League best home record to 23-4-4-1.

Maxime Sauve, Jeremy Reich, Trent Whitfield, and Zach Hamill each registered goals for Providence as their four-game winning streak came to an end. The Bruins record fell to 30-31-3-2 and on the season.

Following Sauve’s tip-in goal at 9:07 of the first period, Portland quickly struck with Adam racing down ice following the ensuing faceoff, beating Providence goaltender Anton Khudobin only eight seconds later to tie the game at one.

Gragnani capped off the first period scoring with his 10th of the season at the 12:13 mark to give the hosts a one-goal lead heading into the second period. Three minutes into the second, Reich tied the game again on a power-play goal, and the score would remain the same until the later stages of the period. McCauley sent home his 10th of the season to give Portland a 3-2 lead at 17:33, only to have Whitfield give the game its third tie with a shorthanded goal a minute later. The seesaw battle continued in the third when Byron gave Portland their third lead of the game halfway through the final period, and Hamill evened the score for a fourth time three minutes later at 13:27. Two Providence penalties late in the period led to Stuart’s goal, sending the Pirates to victory.

The Bruins out-shot the Pirates 49-25 as Jakaitis improved his record to 2-2-0. Khudobin took his first loss in a Providence uniform in five starts as his overall record dropped to 23-13-1.

The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were: 1. Byron, 2. Stuart and 3. Jakaitis.

First-place in the Atlantic Division will be on the line tomorrow (Sunday) when the Manchester Monarchs visit for a 4 p.m. start. The first 4,000 fans into the game will receive a free Pirates hat courtesy of Time Warner Cable. Bring your skates and stick around after the game to skate with your favorite members of the Pirates presented by Mercy Hospital and Steele Hill Resorts.

--PIRATES COMMUNICATIONS--

Black Bears season over

The University of Maine men's ice hockey team saw its season come to an end on Saturday night with a 5-2 loss to Merrimack in game two of its best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series with the Warriors. Maine ends its season with a record of 17-12-7, while Merrimack improves to 23-8-4.

Merrimack took a 1-0 lead when Ryan Flanigan fed Jeff Velleca on an odd-man rush from a shot in the slot at 14:01 of the first period. The Warriors extended their lead to 2-0 at 3:57 of the second period when Carter Madsen beat Maine goalie when he collected the rebound of an initial shot. Ryan Flanigan and Elliott Sheen each assisted on the goal.

Merrimack made it 3-0 at 9:08 of the second period when Mike Collins beat Maine goalie Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) from Stephane Da Costa and Karl Stollery.

Maine got on the board at 10:52 of the second when Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) tipped a Will O'Neill (Salem, Mass.) shot from the blueline past Joe Cannata. The shot deflected off the goal post and into the net. Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) also assisted on the goal.

Merrimack got the goal right back when Flanigan stepped out of the penalty box and received a pass from Velleca. He beat Sullicvan on a breakaway. Jesse Todd also assisted on the goal which was scored at 13:19.

Merrimack extended its lead to 5-1 just 1:36 into the third period Carter Madsen backhanded a shot in transition past Sullivan. Sheen assisted on the goal for the Warriors.

Maine cut into the Merrimack lead at 9:43 when Jeff Dimmen (Colorado Springs, Colo.) beat Cannata from Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) and Nyquist.

Merrimack capped the scoring at 16:31 when Madsen collected the rebound of a Flanigan shot and fired it past Maine goalie Shawn Sirman (Blezard Valley, Ontario), who had replaced Sullivan.

Merrimack finished the game with a 37-31 edge in shots on goal. The Black Bears were 0-for-4 on the power play, while Merrimack was 1-for-3.

Maine goalie Dan Sullivan made 22 saves in 41:25 of action. He allowed five goals and falls to 10-7-2 on the season. Shawn Sirman made nine saves in 18:24. Joe Cannata stopped 29 shots in goal for the Warriors. He improves to 23-8-4.

The game was the final one in the career of five outstanding seniors: Mike Banwell (Scarborough, Ontario), Josh Van Dyk (Woodstock, Ontario), Jeff Dimmen (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Robby Dee (Plymouth, Minn.) and Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta).

-UMaine Communications-

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pirates squirt past Hershey

Corey Tropp scored a goal and netted his fourth shootout game-winner of the season and David Leggio continued his solid play in net with 30 saves as the Portland Pirates defeated the Hershey Bears 3-2 in an American Hockey League game played today in front of 4,403 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Mark Voakes scored the other Pirates goal and Marc-Andre Gragnani recorded an assist in his fourth straight game as Portland improved their record to 38-17-5-2 with their fourth straight win. With the victory, the Pirates improved their American Hockey League best home record to 22-4-4-1 and moved into a tie with the Manchester Monarchs for the Atlantic Division lead.

Mathieu Perreault and Patrick McNeill each registered goals for Hershey as their record fell to 39-21-1-4 on the season.

Perreault got the visitors on the board early in the first period at the 5:06 mark with impressive stick handling to skate behind the Portland defense and beat Leggio. The two teams played to a stalemate for the remaining of the first and second periods, entering the final frame with Hershey up 1-0 in a goaltending duel. At 2:58 of the third period, Voakes scored his second goal in as many games to tie the game at one, and Tropp gave the hosts a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 15:15. McNeill added a power-play goal of his own with a minute and a half remaining to send the game into extra time. After a scoreless overtime, both Tropp and Colin Stuart beat Hershey goaltender Nolan Schaefer and Leggio stopped all four Hershey shooters to send the Pirates to victory.

The Bears out-shot the Pirates 32-30 as David Leggio won his ninth straight decision, improving his record to 18-4-0. Schaefer took the loss for Hershey as his record dropped to 10-17-2.

The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were: 1. Tropp, 2. Leggio and 3. Schaefer.

Portland will be back in action on Friday, March 11th when they travel to Springfield for showdown with the Falcons in a 7:30 p.m. start. The game can be heard live on 95.5 News Talk WLOB or on-line at www.portlandpirates.com beginning with the pre-game show at 7:15 p.m. live from the MassMutual Center.

--PIRATES COMMUNICATIONS--

Pirates announce Clear Day roster

The Portland Pirates, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, announced today the 22 players listed on the team’s 2011 clear day list. The list designates the players eligible to compete in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs.

According to AHL by-laws, only those 22 players listed on a team’s Clear Day Roster are eligible to compete in the remainder of the 2010-11 AHL regular season and in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs, unless emergency conditions arise as a result of recall, injury or suspension. Teams may also add signed junior players or players on amateur tryout contracts after their respective junior or college seasons are complete.
The following players will be eligible to participate for the Pirates in the 2011 Calder Cup playoffs:

Goaltenders: Jhonas Enroth, David Leggio

Skaters: Luke Adam, Alex Biega, T.J. Brennan, Paul Byron, Tim Conboy, Nick Crawford, Matt Ellis, Igor Gongalsky, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Maxime Legault, Mark Mancari, Dennis McCauley, Mark Parrish, Dennis Persson, Brian Roloff, Drew Schiestel, Colin Stuart, Corey Tropp, Travis Turnbull and Derek Whitmore

Sabres recall Adam, Parrish from Pirates

The Buffalo Sabres have announced that Luke Adam and Mark Parrish have been recalled from the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League.

This is Adam’s (6’2”, 215 lbs., 6/18/1990) fourth recall of the season, and he has produced four points (3+1) in 18 combined games with the Sabres. Adam currently sits third on the Pirates in scoring with 42 points (21+21) in 40 games, along with a team-leading plus-20. Adam was selected by the Sabres in the second round (44th overall) of the 2008 Entry Draft.

An 11-year NHL veteran, Parrish (5’11”, 199 lbs., 2/2/1977) returns to the NHL for the first time this season after posting back-to-back four-point games with Portland this past weekend. Parrish has 35 points in 42 games for Portland this season, including 15 (4+11) in the last 13. The 34-year-old Parrish has totaled 387 points (216+171) in 720 career NHL games with Florida, NY Islanders, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Dallas and Tampa Bay. He was signed as a free agent by the Sabres in October after being a training camp invitee. Parrish was originally drafted by Colorado in the third round (79th overall) of the 1996 Entry Draft.

--PIRATES/SABRES COMMUNICATIONS--

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pirates ground Falcons

Mark Parrish recorded his second straight four-point game with a pair of goals and assists and Mark Voakes scored a goal and an assist in his American Hockey League debut to lead the Portland Pirates to a 6-1 victory over the Springfield Falcons in an American Hockey League game played today in front of 4,034 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Maxime Legault, Jacob Lagace, and Igor Gongalsky also notched goals for the Pirates and Luke Adam and Marc-Andre Gragnani each recorded a pair of assists as Portland improved their record to 37-17-5-2 with their third straight win. With the victory, the Pirates improved their American Hockey League best home record to 21-4-4-1 and moved within two points of the division leading Manchester Monarchs, who lost earlier in the day to the Charlotte Checkers by a 3-2 margin.

Ben Guite scored the lone Springfield goal as the Falcons lost their fourth straight and fell to 30-29-2-3 on the season.

The Pirates offense picked up where it left off on Saturday night, establishing a three-goal lead in the first period. Voakes got Portland on the board first with his first career AHL goal at 6:11, and Legault notched his 12th tally of the season with just under six minutes remaining for a quick 2-0 advantage. Lagace scored at 18:45, capitalizing on a feed from Voakes and Dennis McCauley, to close out the first period scoring. Springfield goaltender Gustaf Wesslau settled down and held the Pirates at bay for most of the second period, until Parrish sent home his 10th goal of the season on the game’s first power play at 18:49. Parrish scored his second of the night only 1:04 into the final period, and Guite would follow three minutes later with the only Falcons goal of the night. In the final minute with 18 seconds left, Gongalsky broke his 17-game goal drought with his fourth of the season to set the final margin.

The Falcons out-shot the Pirates 36-21 as David Leggio won his eighth straight decision, improving his record to 17-4-0 with 35 saves. Wesslau took the loss for Springfield as his record dropped to 12-14-1.

The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were all from the Pirates: 1. Parrish, 2. Adam and 3. Leggio.

--PIRATES COMMUNICATIONS--

Pirates silence Sound Tigers;Mancari recalled by Buffalo

Paul Byron, Colin Stuart, and Luke Adam each netted two goals and the Pirates offense capitalized on five power plays to lead Portland to an 8-3 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in an American Hockey League game played this evening in front of 5,269 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

T.J. Brennan and Derek Whitmore also scored and Mark Parrish registered four assists as Portland improved their record to 36-17-5-2. With the victory, the Pirates improved their American Hockey League best home record to 20-4-4-1 and moved within four points of the idle division leading Manchester Monarchs.

Eric Castonguay, David Ullstrom, and Rhett Rakhshani each contributed goals for Bridgeport as they lost their fourth straight and fell to 21-33-3-4 on the season.

Byron scored the first power-play goal of the game in the first period to give the Pirates a lead that they would only give up once throughout the game. Fireworks went off in the second period as both teams combined for six goals, starting with Castonguay tying the game for Bridgeport at 3:27. Portland would begin their offensive onslaught as Byron and Adam connected only 12 seconds apart midway through the period, and Brennan scored on a power-play two minutes later at 11:58.

Bridgeport’s Ullstrom cut the lead to two on a power-play goal of his own, but Stuart again extended the lead to three for the Pirates to close out the second period scoring. In the first minute of the third period, Rakhshani tallied Bridgeport’s second power-play and final goal of the game followed by Stuart scoring his second of the game at the 2:58 mark. Adam and Whitmore closed out the scoring for the Pirates with a power-play goal each.

The Sound Tigers out-shot the Pirates 37-30 as David Leggio won his seventh straight decision, improving his record to 16-4-0 with 34 saves. Mikko Koskinen took the loss for Bridgeport as his record dropped to 7-18-1.
Port
Notes: Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced Saturday that forward Mark Mancari has been recalled from the AHL’s Portland Pirates....This is the second recall of the season for Mancari (7/11/1985, 6'3", 225 lbs.), who is currently third in AHL scoring with 64 points (32+32) in 56 games...The 25-year-old Mancari was the AHL’s Player of the Month for January when he totaled 13 goals and eight assists, and was a plus-10 in 15 games... In 19 career NHL games with the Sabres, Mancari has 6 points (2+4)...
Mancari was Buffalo's seventh-round choice (207th overall) in the 2004 Entry Draft.

--PIRATES COMMUNICATIONS--

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pirates sign goalie

The Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League announced today that they have signed Jeff Jakaitis to a tryout agreement.

The 27 year-old goaltender was playing for Dayton in the CHL where he appeared in 42 games earning a 22-17-3 record and 2.58 goals against average. The 5-foot-10 Rochester, MN native, who also played with the Worcester Sharks earlier this season (one victory in three games), has also played in 83 career games in the ECHL, 4 in the AHL, and 39 in the Italian Professional League during his professional career. In his four career AHL games (one with the Pirates during the 2008-09 season), Jakaitis is 1-2-1 with a 3.37 goals against average.

The Pirates will be back in action with two games at the Civic Center this weekend. Tonight (Saturday) at 7 p.m. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers come to town. Fans are encouraged to get to the game early as the first 2,000 through the gate will receive a Pirates Team Photo courtesy of Brown Fox Printing. Also, fans can receive two tickets to a future Pirates game by donating a non-perishable food item to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

--PIRATES COMMUNICATIONS--

UMaine Hockey wins 6th straight

The University of Maine men's ice hockey team won its sixth straight game with 4-3 win over UMass on Friday night at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass. Maine jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but saw the Minutemen score three third period goals to make it a 4-3 final. Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ontario) had a goal and an assist for the Black Bears, while Robby Dee (Plymouth, Minn.) netted the game-winner.

Maine improves to 17-10-6 on the season with the win and 14-8-4 in Hockey East play. UMass falls to 6-21-5 overall and 5-16-5 in conference play.

Maine took a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 12:19 of the first period. Will O'Neill (Salem, Mass.) got the puck to Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) who skated it behind the net. Nyquist found Spencer Abbott near the top of the face-off circle and he fired a shot past UMass goalie Paul Dainton, giving Maine the 1-0 lead. For Abbott, it was his 16th goal of the season.

Neither team was able to notch a goal during the second period, however, the Black Bears had a 35-17 edge in shots on goal after two periods of play.

Maine took a 2-0 lead just 1:30 into the third period goal with a short handed goal. Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) got the puck to Matt Mangene who fired it at the net. Dainton got a piece of it, but the puck had enough momentum to just barely roll across the goal line. The play was reviewed and called a good goal. For Mangene, it was his third goal of the season.

Maine extended its lead to 3-0 at 4:12 of the third period. Nyquist got the puck to Josh Van Dyk (Woodstock, Ontario) who fired the puck past Dainton from the left face-off circle. Van Dyk extended his goal scoring streak to three games with the goal. Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) also picked up an assist on the play.

UMass got on the scoreboard at 10:46 of the third period when Adam Phillips slide the puck past Maine goalie Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) from the right face-off circle. Marc Concannon assisted on the play.

Maine answered right back with a goal by Robby Dee just 17 seconds later. Kyle Beattie (Avondale, Ariz.) and Abbott each assisted on the goal by Dee, which was scored from the slot.

UMass then scored goals seven seconds apart by Danny Hobbs and Michael Pereira to pull to within one goal at 4-3. Both team had chances for goals in the final minutes, but the game finished 4-3.

Maine outshot UMass 40-34 in the game. The Black Bears finished 1-for-2 on the power play, while UMass scored a goal in four chances.

Maine goalie Dan Sullivan made 31 saves in goal. He improves to 10-5-1 on the season. Dainton stopped 36 shots for the Minutemen. He falls to 6-16-4 on the campaign.

The Black Bears and Minutemen wrap up the 2011 regular season when face each other on Saturday, March 5 at 7 PM at the Mullins Center.


-UM COMMUNICATIONS-

Enroth Recalled

Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier announced tonight that goaltender Jhonas Enroth has been recalled from the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League.

This is the fourth recall of the season for Enroth (5’10”, 167 lbs., 6/25/1988), who has a record of 20-17-2 in 41 games with Portland, posting a 2.78 GAA and .912 save%. In six games with the Sabres this season, the 22-year-old Enroth is 3-2-1 with a 2.69 GAA and .906 save%. All three of Enroth’s wins have been in shootouts, giving him the distinction of being first goalie in league history to win his first three NHL games via the shootout.

A native of Stockholm, Sweden, the 22-year-old Enroth was selected by the Sabres in the second round (46th overall) of the 2006 Entry Draft.

--PIRATES COMMUNICATIONS--

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Report: Maineiacs to get acquainted with Summerside over the weekend

Just when you thought we were out, they pull us back in.

According to a report by the Journal-Pioneer's Mike Carlson, the Lewiston Maineiacs will be taking a tour of Summerside this weekend when they are in town to face Prince Edward Island.

“On Saturday they’re in Charlottetown and will play the game down there and on Saturday they’re going to come up and stay here,” said Summerside Chief Administrative Officer Terry Murphy. “This is a chance to get to expose the area and a chance to show them around and the rest of the people that are in the Q the good things we have here.”

(This is akin to telling your friend that you are taking her boyfriend out for dinner, letting him get to third base, and expecting her to be OK with it.)

This, of course, is going to lead to renewed speculation that the Maineiacs are headed out of town.

Bill Schurman, managing consultant and Governor of the Maineiacs says not to be alarmed by this.

"The last time we came through the maritimes we stopped in Amherst, visiting schools and their local arena, waving our flag and learning the culture," said Schurman. " It was well reported in local media there."

"I spent more than 25 years developing sports tourism in PEI and Summerside. I helped with thousands of volunteers, [and] attract to the Island many national and international events, Major Junior teams, College teams, AHL teams, and even NHL teams," continued Schurman. "Our captain (Cameron Critchlow) was born there, in fact four members of our organization were born there. The Island is 140 miles long. If we did not visit, it would be less than polite. We will be very proud to show our team where we come from and if we can help in anyway to promote the community while there, we will not hesitate."

"As the only US-based team in the Q, we are also visiting Province house, Charlottetown city hall, the Premier's office and hospitals in both Charlottetown and Summerside promoting our state," Schurman explained. "[It's about] the sport and adding character to our players. Can't stop people from thinking what they want to think, however this is what we normally do when on the road."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pirates bag Sharks

Luke Adam scored two goals and Paul Byron contributed three points on a goal and two assists to lead the Portland Pirates to a 6-2 victory over the Worcester Sharks in an American Hockey League game played this afternoon in front of 2,690 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

T.J. Brennan, Derek Whitmore, and Colin Stuart also scored for the Pirates and Marc-Andre Gragnani registered two assists as Portland raised their record to 35-17-5-2. With the victory, the Pirates improved their American Hockey League best home record to 19-4-4-1 and won their fourth straight against the Sharks.

Sean Sullivan and Dan DaSilva contributed goals for Worcester as their three-game point streak came to an end and their record fell to 27-22-3-8 on the season.

The Pirates got off to a blistering start in the first period, sending three shots past Worcester goaltender Tyson Sexsmith to establish an early 3-0 lead. Adam started the scoring spree early in the first period, capitalizing off a feed from Byron and Mancari at the 1:55 mark. Portland extended their lead to two when Byron sent home his 15th of the season immediately following a faceoff win in the offensive zone, and Brennan scored at 17:57 to cap off the scoring for the period. During the second period the two teams would alternate girls as Sullivan got the Sharks on the board at 9:19, however Whitmore upped the lead back to three on a power-play goal. The scoring would continue with DaSilva beating Jhonas Enroth for his 12th of the season, and Adam earning his second tally of the night with five seconds remaining in the period on a breakaway out of the penalty box. Stuart rounded out the scoring at 12:50 in the third to give the game its final margin.

The Pirates out-shot the Sharks 29-26 as Enroth improved his record to 20-17-2 with 24 saves, and Sexsmith dropped to 1-1-1.

The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were all from the Pirates: 1. Byron, 2. Adam and 3. Gragnani.

The Pirates will be back in action with two games at the Civic Center this weekend, kicked off on Saturday, March 5th at 7 p.m. when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers come to town. Fans are encouraged to get to the game early as the first 2,000 through the gate will receive a Pirates Team Photo courtesy of Brown Fox Printing. Also, fans can receive two tickets to a future Pirates game by donating a non-perishable food item to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

Nyquist gets an honor

University of Maine junior standout Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) has been named the Hockey East Athletic Republic Player of the Month for February. Nyquist led the Black Bears to a 5-3-0 record in February, including a pair of wins over then fourth-ranked Merrimack.

Nyquist led all Black Bears in scoring in February with 10 goals and four assists for 14 points. He opened February with his first career hat trick in Maine's game against New Hampshire. He followed that up with a goal against the Wildcats the following night to finish with four goals on the weekend.

Nyquist had a goal in Maine's game against Vermont on Feb. 11 and followed that up with two goals and an assist the following night in Maine's 4-2 victory over the Catamounts. After being held scoreless in Maine's first game at UMass Lowell, he scored a pair of goals the following night including the game-winner.

Nyquist had two assists in Maine's 4-0 win over #4 Merrimack on Friday, before adding a goal and an assist the next night as Maine swept the weekend series from the Warriors.

He had four power play goals on the month and a pair of shorthanded tallies. He scored at least one point in seven of the eight games and had at least one goal in six of the eight games. In addition, he had a pair of three-point games and three two-point games.

It is the second time in his career that Nyquist has earned Hockey East Player of the Month honors, as he also received the honor in December of 2009.

Nyquist leads Maine in scoring with 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points. He has five power play goals on the season and two shorthanded goals.

Nyquist and the Black Bears return to action on Friday, March 4 when they travel to UMass to begin the final series of the 2010-2011 regular season with the Minutemen. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM.

-UM COMMUNICATIONS--

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