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PORTLAND REPORT: JANUARY 5

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Jhonas Enroth (Heather Harvey)
The Pirates went 2-1 in their three games played last week. They suffered a 3-1 loss to Worcester on Thursday before rebounding on the road over the weekend.


Despite Dennis Persson Portland netting his first career AHL goal against Worcester, the Pirates could not overcome goals from Dan DaSilva, Dennis McCauley and Logan Couture from the Sharks. Worcester outshot the Pirates 29-18 in the game as Jhonas Enroth took the loss.

Things began to turn around for the squad away from the Cumberland County Civic Center, with a 4-3 SO win in Manchester on Saturday and a 4-0 win in Providence on Sunday

Marc-Andre Gragnani scored in the 10th round of the shootout to lift Portland to a 4-3 win at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Enroth stopped 23 of 26 shots in regulation and overtime but saved his best for the shootout, turning aside nine of the 10 shooters he faced. Nathan Gerbe paced the Pirates with two goals while Mark Mancari scored once, collected two assists and scored the only other Portland shootout goal. Tyler Ennis registered three assists as the Pirates posted their first shootout win of the season. Corey Elkins, Marc-Andre Cliche and Kevin Westgarth scored for Manchester and Patrick Mullen was the only one of Manchester’s 10 shooters to beat Enroth.

Sunday Enroth made 39 saves for this third shutout of the season in leading the Pirates to a 4-0 win over the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donut Center. Ennis and Mancari supplied a goal and two assists each to the winning effort while Gragnani netted a goal and an assist. Matt Generous rounded out the scoring and Gerbe registered two assists as the Pirates won their second straight to move to 18-13-4-2 on the season.

Portland completes a five-game road trip this week with three games in three days. The Pirates play the Binghamton Senators Friday, travel to Adirondack Saturday to face the Phantoms and complete their trip in Worcester to battle the Sharks on Sunday.

This Week:

Friday, January 8, 2010 @ Binghamton Senators (Broome County Arena), 7 PM
    * This will be the first meeting between the Pirates and the Senators this season
    * Binghamton is tied for fourth place in the East Division with the Adirondack Phantoms
    * Forward Martin St. Pierre is tied for seventh in AHL scoring with 35 points
    * Binghamton ranks ninth in AHL power play success with an 18.5 percent conversion rate

Saturday, January 9, 2010 @ Adirondack Phantoms (Glens Falls Civic Center), 7;05 PM
    * This will also be the first time the Pirates face the Phantoms this season
    * Greg Gilbert enters his first season as head coach of the Phantoms after spending the previous three seasons as head coach of the Toronto Marlies, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate, where he compiled a 123-89-10-18 record, including a 39-29-5-7 mark in 2008-09
    * Heading into this week’s action Adirondack had won six out of their last 10 games

Sunday, January 10, 2010 @ Worcester Sharks (DCU Center), 3:05 PM
    * In the last meeting between the Pirates and Sharks, Worcester came out with a 3-1 victory over Portland (12/31/09). The game is the fifth of the Unum Challenge with Portland the eight-game season series 2-1-0-1
    * Heading into this week’s action Worcester was ranked second in the Atlantic Division with 46 points
    * Rookie Logan Couture is tied for seventh in AHL scoring with 35 points, and is tied for first in rookie standings with Portland’s own Tyler Ennis
    * Worcester is 13-7-0-0 on home ice

Recent Transactions:
12/31/2009 Nathan Gerbe (LW) Returned on loan from Buffalo (NHL)
12/30/2009 Hans Benson (RW) Signed to PTO
1/3/2010 Hans Benson (RW) Released from PTO
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