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PORTLAND REPORT: MARCH 9

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
The Pirates suffered through a difficult weekend on the road dropping three, one-goal games and experiencing three consecutive regulation losses for the first time since October.


Last week began with a 5-4 loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday followed by a 4-3 setback in Syracuse on Saturday. Portland completed the weekend Sunday afternoon at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY coming out on the short end of a 3-2 decision to the Rochester Americans. The stretch of games left the Pirates with a 35-21-5-3 record, good enough for second place in the Atlantic Division.

Trevor Smith’s second goal of the game turned out to be the game winner as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers posted a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Pirates Friday night at Arena at Harbor Yard. Mike Radja, Tomas Marcinko and Matt Martin also scored for the Sound Tigers. Mike Weber, Nathan Gerbe, Marc-Andre Gragnani and Philip Gogulla scored for the Pirates while Mark Mancari registered two assists.

The next night in Syracuse, a furious late rally fell short on a goal-mouth scramble at the buzzer as the Crunch shaded the Pirates 4-3 at the Onondaga County War Memorial At Oncenter. The Pirates rallied for three goals in the third period to set up the late opportunity. Weber and Gogulla, with a pair of goals in the final three minutes of the game, engineered the comeback attempt. The Pirates celebrated a last-second goal which was ultimately waved off by the referee. Brendan Bell, with two, Jared Aulin and Nick Holden staked the Crunch to a 4-0 advantage through two periods.

Jeff Taffe netted the game winner with 65 seconds remaining in regulation as the Rochester Americans slipped past the Pirates 3-2 Sunday at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY. Victor Oreskovich and Mike York netted the other goals for the Americans. Travis Turnbull and Cody McCormick replied for the Pirates.

Friday, March 12, 2010 vs. Manchester (CCCC), 7 p.m.
    * Manchester enters this week’s action with a 34-22-3-5 record and sit only two points behind the Pirates for second place in the Atlantic Division.
    * The Monarchs have allowed the third fewest goals against this season (156).
    * Jonathan Bernier is at the top of almost every goaltending statistic in the League. His eight shutouts and .939 save percentage lead the League while his 2.01 goals against average ranks second.
    * Forward Corey Elkins is tied for ninth in rookie scoring with 19 goals and 20 assists for 29 points in 59 games.
    * The Pirates are 4-1-1-0 against the Monarchs this season including a 3-2 shootout win on January 26th, which started the Pirates franchise record 11-game winning streak.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 vs. Binghamton (CCCC), 7 p.m.
    * The Senators are 25-30-5-3 heading into this week’s action and sit 14 points out of a guaranteed playoff spot in the East Division.
    * Martin St. Pierre is tied for 10th in League scoring with 20 goals and 39 assists for 59 points in 60 games.
    * The Senators shaded the Pirates 4-3 in their only other meeting this season, played January 8th in Binghamton.

Sunday, March 14, 2010 vs. Springfield Falcons (CCCC), 4 p.m.
    * Springfield enters action this week with a 21-33-9-3 record and sit last in the Atlantic Division.
    * Charles Linglet has been an offensive bright spot for the Falcons. The veteran forward is fourth in AHL scoring with 18 goals and 49 assists for 67 points in 66 games. Linglet’s 49 assists are more than any other Springfield player’s point total.
    * The Pirates are 3-2-0-0 against the Falcons this season including a 2-0 victory on December 18th.
    * The Falcons have gone 97:40 without scoring a goal against the Pirates.

Recent Pirates Transaction:
3/6/10 Mark Mancari, recalled from loan by Buffalo (NHL)
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