October 25, 2008 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Portland Pirates
Portland, ME- The Portland Pirates got off to a fast start on Saturday night against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, scoring three goals on their first five shots on net. They went on to earn a 5-4 victory in front of 4,630 fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
On this special Labatt Blue Light Hockey Night in Portland, the team took to the ice wearing one-of-a-kind pink jerseys, sponsored by Paradigm Window Solutions, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Tim Kennedy\'s game-worn jersey was auctioned off during the game and with a bid of $750, in total, the pink jersey raffle raised $1,940.
Pirates defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani kicked off the scoring at the 2:18 mark of the first period with his first goal of the 2008-09 season, a backhanded one-timer that beat goaltender John Curry on the right side. Colton Fretter and Felix Schutz earned assists on the play; it was Schutz\'s first point on the season.
The season firsts continued as Marek Zagrapan tallied his first of the year at the 9:37 mark of the period on a snapshot from the right hash mark. The goal came on a 2-on-1 rush and was assisted by Mike Card and Colin Murphy, his first assist this season.
The Pirates would extend their lead to three goals at the 13:42 mark of the first. After an odd bounce off the glass from Mark Mancari, his linemate Nathan Gerbe rushed the net and slammed it home past Curry. Zagrapan earned an assist on the goal, his second point on the night. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton snapped Portland\'s scoring streak with a short-handed goal 8:42 into the second period. Penguins\' captain Dave Gove led a 3-on-1 breakaway during a Pirates\' powerplay and fired a wrist shot over Jhonas Enroth\'s stick into the upper corner.
Nathan Gerbe tallied his second goal of the evening at the 15:51 mark of the second, assisted by linemates Time Kennedy and Mark Mancari. Gerbe\'s shot went off Curry\'s left leg pad and into the net for the Pirates\' seventh power play goal of the season.
The Penguins cut the Pirates\' lead in half with a power play goal of their own at the 2:13 mark of the third period. Jeff Taffe tipped in a Chris Minard slapshot from the right faceoff circle, earning his fifth goal of the season. Ben Lovejoy recorded an assist for his first point on the year. They would add another goal at the 12:55 mark, as Enroth gave up a rebound off his left pad on a Dustin Jeffrey shot and Minard buried it top shelf. Lovejoy earned his second assist of the night on the play.
Marek Zagrapan tallied his third point of the game with an empty net goal, assisted by Mark Mancari, at the 19:09 mark of the third period. It would become the game winner as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored with 15 seconds left in the game. The Penguins Taffe scored off a rebound in front of the net, assisted by Minard and Thomas.
Notes: With his power play goal tonight, Nathan Gerbe has five goals this season, four of them coming during a Pirates\' man advantage. Tim Kennedy earned one point tonight on an assist, extending his point-scoring streak to five games.
Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the Game: 1. Nathan Gerbe (POR) 2. Marek Zagrapan (POR) 3. Jhonas Enroth (POR)
The Pirates next game is Wednesday, October 29th on the road against the Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers) at 7:00 p.m. Fans can follow the Pirates on U.S. Cellular Pirates Radio Network or watch the game LIVE on the internet courtesy of AHL Live by clicking the icon on the left side of the home page. The U.S. Cellular Pirates Radio Network includes the Pirates flagship station, the Bay 1400AM and 1490AM (Portland) and affiliates WEZR 1240 AM (Lewiston-Auburn), WTME 780AM (Rumford) and WKTQ 1450AM (South Paris).
The Pirates next home game is November 7th at 7:00 p.m. as they face the Springfield Falcons (Edmonton Oilers). It is a Forecaster Friday Family Night; take your family to the game for only $35; just bring the ad appearing in that week\'s issue of the Forecaster to the Civic Center Box Office. The Pirates will also welcome supporters of the 2008 United Way of Greater Portland annual campaign.