The Portland Pirates first exhibition game of the 2011-’12 season ended with a bizarre turn of events, which forced the game to be postponed with only two periods played.
Spencer Bennett scored a goal and an assist against the Albany Devils as both sides settled for a 2-2 tie at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield, Massachusetts.The arena’s Zamboni was nearly completed with resurfacing the ice when it ran over a puck causing a malfunction that forced it to dump snow over a large surface area of the ice. After a lengthy delay as the crew attempted to clean it up, the game forced to be cancelled.
Portland held a 2-1 lead until 1:19 left in the second period when former Pirate Joe Whitney found the back of the net for the Devils, beating goaltender Marc Cheverie, who got the start.
Just three minutes into the game, the Devils got on the board first when Mike Sislo, who assisted on Whitney’s goal, scored a power play goal.
Only 41 seconds later, the Pirates responded to tie the game at 1-1 when Donny Maloney scored on a shot that beat Devils netminder Maxime Clermont.
Pirates coach Ray Edwards said during the morning skate that he’d “focus on the opponent next week” as the primary goal was to evaluate players in a real game setting.
“This is a chance for us to get one real good look at a couple players like Alex Berry, Igor (Gongalsky) and (Ashton) Rome,” Edwards said. “They bring size to the table, something we really don’t have a lot of right now and they have experience at this level.”
Rome finished the night with a pair of assists including on Bennett’s goal at the 11:06 mark of the second period, giving Portland the 2-1 lead.
Cheverie made 15 saves on 17 shots, while Clermont made 17 saves for Albany.
The Pirates will return to Maine to face the Manchester Monarchs on Sunday afternoon at the Civic Center as they wrap up their preseason campaign.
NOTES: According to twitter account of Coyotes prospect Andy Miele, he has been assigned to the Pirates. No official word from the Coyotes as of yet, but Assistant GM Brad Treliving said a group would be assigned by Sunday, if not before then as Phoenix finalizes it’s roster.