Portland, ME – The Portland Pirates played their first exhibition game of the season, falling 6-3 to the Lowell Devils in front of a full crowd at Portland Ice Arena.
Afterward, they were glad they’ll get another crack at it when they travel to Berlin, NH to play the Manchester Monarchs.
Before the Pirates had a chance to get into the game, the Devils made it 4-0 after 20 minutes of play.
“You like the first five minutes of the game and then… all of a sudden a couple of goals get in,” said Pirates’ head coach Kevin Dineen.
Lowell opened the scoring at 6:47 of the first period when Nathan Perkovich found the back of the net beating Pirates goalie JP Lamoureux.
At 10:35, Jeff Prough made it 2-0 for Lowell as they continued to apply pressure in front of the Pirates net.
Nick Palmieri made it 3-0 with a power play goal as he redirected the puck past Lamoureux at 15:02 of the first period.
With 1:36 left in the period, Alexander Vasyunov made it 4-0 in favor of the Devils.
“Instead of looking at the overall team effort,” said Dineen. “We started looking at the individual talents, abilities and grade the game that way.”
The Devils went up 5-0 on the goal by Prough, his second of the game, at 6:34 of the second period before Paul Byron finally got the Pirates on the board at 12:22 with an inside-out move before beating goaltender Gerald Coleman over his glove.
Dennis Persson and Phillip Gogulla were credited with assists on the play.
Just 1:00 into the third period, former Lewiston Maineiac Eric Castonguay blasted a shot by Lamoureux as Lowell extended their lead to 6-1.
Only 16 seconds later, Mark Voakes scored with an assists from Tyler Ennis and Kyle Wanvig.
Tyler Ennis pulled the Pirates to their closest lead of the night, 6-3, as he drove to the net, slipping the backhander by Coleman with 2:38 left in the game.
NOTES: Pirates defenseman Mike Kostka left the game in the first period with a hip injury and didn’t return. He’s currently listed day-to-day as the team takes a cautious approach.
The Buffalo Sabres sent down seven players earlier in the day including Mark Mancari, who signed a one-year, two-way contract after holding out for nearly a month.
Joining Mancari were Phillip Gogulla, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Felix Schutz, Jhonas Enroth Jeff Cowan and Joe DiPenta.
Mancari, Cowan and DiPenta all need to wait and see if they clear waivers before reporting to Portland.