Kyle Rank scored his first career hat trick and added an assist in leading the Portland Pirates to a 7-1 win over the Springfield Falcons in an American Hockey League game played tonight in front of 2,913 at the MassMutual Center.
Derek Whitmore added a pair of goals for the Pirates while Kyle Wanvig and Jeff Cowan rounded out the goal scoring. Mike Kostka supplied two assists for the winners, who won for the second straight time and extended their road point streak to nine games (6-0-2-1). Overall the Pirates improved to 14-11-3-2.
Bill Thomas netted the lone goal for the Falcons, who are now winless in nine (0-7-1-1) and sunk to 10-13-4-2 on the year.
The Pirates led 2-0 after one on a shorthanded tally by Rank and a power-play strike by Whitmore. Thomas cut the lead to one early in the second when he capitalized with the man advantage but the Pirates responded loudly. Whitmore added his second of the game just 22 seconds later, the first of four second-period goals as Portland cruised into the third with a 6-1 advantage. Rank completed his hat trick in the final minute of the game to complete the scoring.
The Pirates played the game without Mark Mancari, who was recalled by the Buffalo Sabres earlier in the day. Despite missing Mancari and Nathan Gerbe (also with Buffalo), two of their three top scorers, Portland managed to produce their highest offensive goal total of the season.
Springfield out shot the Pirates 32-26 in the game as Jhonas Enroth posted the victory.
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were 1. Rank, 2. Whitmore and 3. Cowan.
(Courtesy of Portland Pirates PR)