The Portland Pirates could be looking for another backup goalie.

Todd Ford, who has served as the backup since starting goalie Jhonas Enroth sprained his left ankle March 13, has returned to the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays.

Ford is expected to start tonight when the defending Kelly Cup champions play the Cincinnati Cyclones in the first game of a best-of-five ECHL playoff series at the US Bank Arena in Ohio.

Following the Pirates’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Providence Bruins on Sunday at the Cumberland County Civic Center, Coach Dineen expressed doubt that Enroth, who has played in 48 games this season, will be available for the final three regular-season games.

“Jhonas will be a while,” Dineen said.

“We’ll see where he is moving forward. He’s making good progress, but I would say he is doubtful for (this) weekend.”

Enroth, in his second AHL season, participated in off-ice training last week when the Pirates practiced at the MHG Ice Centre in Saco.

“You’ll know he’s starting to get there when he gets on the ice, and he hasn’t gotten on the ice yet,” Dineen said.

The Pirates didn’t practice Monday and are not scheduled to practice today.

In his three weeks with the Pirates, Ford, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound netminder in is sixth professional season, won all three of his starts.

He compiled a 1.00 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage.

During Enroth’s absence, J.P. Lamoureux, in his second professional season since playing for the University of North Dakota, has compiled a 5-0-2-1 record.

The Pirates have already clinched a berth in the playoffs and have earned points in their last 11 games.

NOTES: Former Lewiston Maineiac Jonathan Bernier of the Manchester Monarchs has been named the winner of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender.

In 57 appearances, Bernier has a 30-20-6 record and leads the league in shots faced (1,807), saves (1,693), save percentage (.937) and shutouts (9).

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: pbetit@pressherald.com