Springfield, Mass. – This was not the start the 2009-’10 version of the Portland Pirates were looking for as they gave up three powerplay goals enroute to a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Springfield Falcons on Saturday night.
The first goal of the game was a powerplay goal by Springfield as Chris Minard scored at 4:58 of the first period. With Brad Larsen in the box for holding, Ryan Potulny spotted Minard alone in front, where he snapped a shot between the legs of Pirates’ goalie Jhonas Enroth.
Less than 25 seconds later, the Pirates tied the game at 1-1 on a goal by Marc-Andre Gragnani as he tipped Paul Byron’s shot by Falcons’ netminder Devan Dubnyk.
“Giving up the first goal was tough,” said Pirates’ forward Felix Schutz. “We were running around and it’s going to take a (some time) to get to know each other.”
What stung the team even more was giving up two goals in the final seconds of the first period and again in the second period as Springfield skated off with a 5-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.
With Joe Dipenta and Viacheslav Trukhno off for roughing, Falcons regained the lead, 2-1, as Liam Reddox found the back of the net on a wrap-around, beating Enroth short side, under the crossbar with 10.2 seconds left in the period.
With 8.6 seconds left in the second period, Springfield extended their lead to three goals with a powerplay goal as Adam Henrich snapped a shot from the bottom of the left circle, beating Enroth through a screen.
“It was tough,” Schutz said. “We need to just go out there and battle hard.”
The Falcons made 3-1 when Charles Linglet scored at 3:20 of the second period, Portland pulled within a goal nine minutes later as Gragnani scored his second of the game, beating Dubnyk with a wrist shot through a screen of bodies.
At 15:51, Taylor Chorney scored the Falcons’ second powerplay goal of the game as they extended their lead to 4-2.
In the third period, the Pirates looked out of place as their timing was noticeably off.
“We sure looked out of sync,” said Dineen. “There were a lot of individual mistakes out there tonight.”
Enroth made 19 saves on 24 shots in the loss. Falcons’ goalie Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves in the win.
NOTES: Attendance at the MassMutual Center was announced at 5,267.