April 11, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Portland Pirates
Manchester, NH - Nathan Gerbe scored two goals, including the game winner, to power the Pirates past the Manchester Monarchs by a final score of 5-4. The Pirates open the playoffs powered by Time Warner Cable on Wednesay at 7:05 in Providence.
Manchester struck first in front of the home crowd, with Matt Moulson sending a cross ice feed onto the tape of Trevor Lewis. The forward took the pass on the left wing and blasted it past Portland goaltender Kellen Briggs for his 20th goal of the season. Moulson and Viatheslav Voynov got assists on the goal just 55 seconds itno the game. Late in the first, Manchester added another goal when Gabe Gauthier scored his 12th of the season from Lewis and Josh Kidd at 19:33. The Monarchs took a 2-0 lead out of the first period.
Early in the second, Portland captain Tyler Bouck found a loose puck and put it home for his seventh goal of the season. Colton Fretter and Marc-Andre Gragnani notched assists on the tally 1:45 into the second period. Portland tied the game at 6:58 of the second when Nathan Gerbe took a slap shot on the power play and it deflected past Manchester netminder Danny Taylor. Gerbe\'s 29th goal of the year was assisted by Tim Kennedy and Felix Schutz. The Pirates scored their third straight goal to take a 3-2 lead at 17:23 of the second. Matt Generous tipped a pass from Mark Mancari past Taylor for his first professional goal. Mancari and Marek Zagrapan grabbed helpers. The Pirates took their 3-2 lead into the third period.
Manchester fought back early in the third though, with Matt Moulson scoring his 21st goal of the year 1:52 into the final frame. Thomas Hickey and Trevor Lewis picked up assists. Portland jumped right back ahead when Colton Fretter stole a drop pass at his blue line and skated the other way on a 2-on-1. Fretter took a shot from the right side and scored his 24th goal of the season unassisted at 6:40 of the third to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead. Portland picked up a critical insurance goal at 8:15 of the third when Tim Kennedy fed Nathan Gerbe on the left wing. Gerbe took a wrister from the left circle and beat Taylor over the blocker side for his 30th goal of the year. Kennedy and Kellen Briggs earned assists and the Pirates led 5-3. Manchester cashed in on a late power play when Viatcheslav Voynov scored his eighth goal of the season at 18:57 of the third to cut it to a 5-4 game. Hickey and David Meckler earned assists on the goal, but the Monarchs couldn\'t add enough. Portland took the win by a final score of 5-4, locking up third place in the Atlantic Division and a first round showdown with the Providence Bruins in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Pirates goaltender Kellen Briggs stopped 25 of the 29 shots he faced to get the win. Manchester netminder Dan Taylor made 21 saves on 26 shots before being pulled. Jonathan Bernier closed out the game and stopped all three shots he faced.
Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the Game: 1. Nathan Gerbe (POR) 2. Trevor Lewis (MCH) 3. Colton Fretter (POR)
Notes: The Pirates locked up third place in the Atlantic Division and will travel to Providence to take on the Bruins Wednesday at 7:05 pm in the first round of the playoffs...Attendance:8,020.