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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Photo: Heather Harvey
The Pirates went 2-1 in three games last week finishing with a pair of home-ice victories to improve to 16-12-3-2 on the season. The week started with a 2-0 loss against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Tuesday night at Arena at Harbor Yard. Portland rebounded from their third shutout loss of the season with a 2-0 win against the Springfield Falcons Friday night and a 4-3 victory over Bridgeport Saturday night.

The Pirates break for the holiday this week and only have one game on their schedule, Saturday night against the Manchester Monarchs at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Last week’s play began Tuesday in Bridgeport where Nathan Lawson turned aside all 26 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers beat the Portland Pirates 2-0 in front of 2,103 at Arena at Harbor Yard. Mark Katic and Greg Mauldin each scored unassisted goals in the game to account for all the offense for the Sound Tigers. The Pirates saw their nine-game road point streak (6-0-2-1) come to an end with the setback. The Pirates outshot the Sound Tigers 26-16 in the game as Jhonas Enroth took the loss.

Friday the Pirates were on home ice as Enroth made 24 saves to lead the Pirates to a 2-0 win over the Springfield Falcons in front of 2,882 at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Felix Schutz, just 15 seconds into the game, and Mark Mancari netted the goals for Portland in support of Enroth’s second shutout of the season. The Pirates outshot the Falcons 31-24 in the game.

Saturday the Pirates pulled through in a last minute effort to post a 4-3 victory over the Sound Tigers in front of 5,190 at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Tyler Ennis scored twice and added a pair of assists and Mancari added four assists to the Pirates effort while Brad Larsen and Marc-Andre Gragnani rounded out the goal scoring. Katic, Mark Wotton and Sean Bentivoglio scored for the Sound Tigers, who saw their five-game point streak (4-0-1-1) end with the loss. The Pirates out shot the Sound Tigers 38-21 in the game as JP Lamoureux posted the victory.

Pirates Notes:
♦   For the second time this season the Pirates scored in the opening minute of back-to-back games. Felix Schutz scored 15 seconds into the game against Springfield and Tyler Ennis struck 25 into the game against Bridgeport. Schutz’s goal was only one second shy of the franchise record for quickest goal to start the game. Mark Murphy established the standard on November 24, 2000 when he scored 14 seconds in a game against the Quebec Citadels
♦   Jhonas Enroth registered his second shutout of the season with 24 saves in a 2-0 win over Springfield on Friday. In his last eight games, the sophomore goaltender has allowed only 11 goals, registered two shutouts and sports a save percentage of .956

♦   Mark Mancari registered four assists against the Sound Tigers representing his first career four-assist game

♦   Tyler Ennis also had four points against the Sound Tigers (on two goals and two assists) for his second career four-point game

♦   Marc-Andre Gragnani’s goal against the Sound Tigers on Saturday was his first since he scored two in the Pirates season opener, a 5-2 loss on October 3rd in Springfield

This Week:

Saturday, December 26, 2009 vs. Manchester Monarchs (CCCC), 7 PM

♦   Manchester is ranked first in the Atlantic Division with a 21-9-1-2 record, good for 45 points, the most in the AHL. Their 21 wins are tied for the most in the League

♦   Manchester has won seven of their last 10 games

♦   The Monarchs have surrendered only 70 goals in 33 games, tied for the second fewest in the League

♦   Goalie Jonathan Bernier ranks fourth in the AHL with a 1.92 goals against average and his .943 save percentage is second best

♦   The game will mark the third of 10 between the two teams this season. Each team has won once with the Pirates blanking the Monarchs 2-0 in their last meeting on December 2nd in Manchester

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