Portland, ME – It was a step in the right direction for the Portland Pirates, but they know there is still more work to be done.
Mathieu Darche had four points on the night en route to a 5-2 victory over the Springfield Falcons before 4,839 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Last night, the Pirates were left reeling from a 7-3 defeat to the Lowell Devils and with the Providence Bruins having the night off, it was a much-needed game for the team’s confidence.
“We talked last night and talk is cheap if you don’t back it up,” said Darche.
The Pirates made it 4-0, scoring a pair of goals in the first and second periods before the Falcons would finally get on the board with 2:39 left in the middle stanza.
Defenseman Tyler Chorney, in front of the net, tipped the puck by Pirates’ goalie Jhonas Enroth to pull the Falcons with three goals.
It was Enroth’s 12th consecutive start.
“He’s the only guy who can look at himself in the mirror the last month and be happy with himself,” said Darche.
The Pirates opened the scoring at 5:31 of the first period as Marek Zagrapan scored the first of his two goals on night, redirecting a wrap-around pass by Mathieu Darche, beating Falcons’ goaltender Jeff Deslauriers for the 1-0 Pirates’ lead.
With 1:19 left in the first period, Zach Tarkir fired a shot from the slot by Deslauriers, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
“For the most part, we respected the game plan by keeping it simple and getting (the puck) in deep and winning the board battles,” Darche said.
At 12:10 of the second period, Portland made 3-0 with a power play goal by Darche, who had an easy tap-in from the top of the crease, beating Deslauriers.
Marek Zagrapan scored his second goal of the night when he redirected Darche’s shot from the right face off circle at 16:57 of the period.
Portland and Springfield would trade goals in the third period.
Patrick Bordeleau scored his first AHL goal of the season with a power play tally at 7:58 of the period, cutting into the Pirates lead, 4-2.
Mark Mancari added an empty-net goal for the Pirates at 19:55 of the period, sealing the victory for Portland.
“Two points is very important for our team so it’s a little step,” said Dineen.
NOTES: Tim Kennedy was a scratch due to an upper body injury that he suffered on Friday night against Lowell. Dineen indicated it would be day-to-day. After the game, there was a post-game incident in the stand that resulted in a fan assault of Falcons’ forward Ryan O’Marra that left him with a contusion under his right eye. There was no arrest, but charges could still be filed by the Falcons.