Portland, ME – The Portland Pirates lost more than a game tonight.
The Springfield Falcons scored three times in the third period to defeat the Pirates, 4-2, in front of 4,881 at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Friday night.
The Pirates also loss forwards Mark Parrish and Travis Turnbull to potentially long-term injuries after they entered the game already shorthanded, skating with 11 forwards, due to the promotion of Colin Stuart and Luke Adam to Buffalo.
“We’ve been healthy all year,” said Pirates coach Kevin Dineen. “We’ve always had a couple of extra bodies and tonight we were at a point where everybody was in the lineup, playing guys a little bit out of position, but I like the way we responded when we got short-handed.”
Parrish was lost midway into the first period after being checked awkwardly into the boards. He was down for several minutes with team trainer Rob Frost before going to the bench. Parrish tried skating again, but headed to the bench in obvious frustration and eventually went to the dressing room with two minutes to play in the period.Turnbull went down in the second period and headed off the ice, clutching his right arm.
“Parrish is going for x-rays,” Dineen said. “Possibly, he’s has some issues with his midsection. I’m not sure of the nature of his injury. Turnbull was his shoulder.”
Dineen said they are going to be looking to bring in “a couple of forwards” for tomorrow’s game in Manchester.
Springfield got on the board first in the first period as Maksim Mayorov scored after a turnover by Pirates forward Paul Byron led to the offensive opportunity.
Byron turned the puck over in the slot to Tyler Murovich, who dumped the puck to Trevor Frischmon for the initial shot on Pirates goalkeeper Jhonas Enroth, but Mayorov was there waiting for the rebound on a opposite post at 2:13 of the period.
Byron redeemed himself for the turnover when he tied the game, 1-1, at the 8:04 mark of the second period.
Corey Tropp, below the goal line on a left side, dished the puck to Byron, who lifted it right corner of the net over the shoulder of Falcons goaltender David LeNeveu.
The Falcons regained the lead, 2-1, on an unassisted goal by Brent Regner as he snapped a shot over right goal pad of Enroth at 4:25 of the third period.Each team only had one power play in the game within a three minute span of the period, and both made sure to capitalize on their chance as Springfield skated to a 3-2 lead.
Mark Mancari scored his first goal in nearly a month to snap an eight-game scoring drought with a power play goal at the 9:12 mark of the third period. Mancari rushed the net from the slot, picking up the rebound and shoveling the shot into an open net after Matt Ellis’ backhander was stopped from the bottom of the left circle.
The game only remained tied for a little over a minute as Mike Blunden scored his ninth of the season, sliding the rebound by Enroth at 10:18 of the third period.
“It’s a game of mistakes, and, you know what, we gave up one too many mistakes that ended up in the back of our net, preventable plays,” Dineen said. “Those things happen in game — it’s a game of mistakes. But when you’re short-handed, and everyone’s aboard, you like to see everybody sticking with the program. Unfortunately, we don’t walk out with any points out of this game, but I’m not displeased with a real solid effort by this team.”
Matt Calvert added an empty-net goal with 23 seconds left in the game.
Enroth made 19 saves in the loss, while LeNeveu stopped 28-of-30 shots for his seventh win of the season.
NOTES: This was the Pirates first loss in regulation on home ice this season after beginning the year 9-0-1… Luke Adam scored his first NHL point with an assist in a 3-1 win in Buffalo against the Toronto Maple Leafs.