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February 9, 2013

Storm forces changes in Pirates' schedule

By Paul Betit
pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The blizzard left the Portland Pirates stranded Saturday in their hotel in Bridgeport, Conn.

Because of a travel ban issued by Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy, Saturday night's AHL game between the Pirates and Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Webster Bank Arena was postponed.

"(Keeping) the best interests of our fans, players and employees in mind, we are compelled to reschedule tonight's game," said the Sound Tigers' president, Howard Saffan, in a news release. "We expect conditions to improve in time for (Sunday's) game (against) Worcester, and we look forward to seeing our fans at Webster Bank Arena to cheer on the Sound Tigers (Sunday) afternoon."

The Pirates, meanwhile, intend to travel to Massachusetts to play a 3 p.m. game Sunday against the Springfield Falcons.

Originally the Pirates were scheduled to travel to play the Providence Bruins on Friday night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center, but that game was rescheduled to Monday night because of the threat of inclement weather.

Instead the Pirates traveled by bus to Connecticut on Friday to prepare for the game against the Sound Tigers.

"We got to Bridgeport by 2 p.m. Friday," Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. "We had planned to practice Friday morning and leave Portland at noon, but we moved up (the departure) time to 9 in the morning. It's a good thing we did or we would have stuck on the road somewhere."

Instead the team was stuck in its hotel in Bridgeport for the second straight day.

Saturday afternoon, the players took turns working out in the small gym at the hotel.

"We haven't skated since Thursday morning," Edwards said. "They hoped to get in a half-hour bike ride just to stay active."

Edwards also intended to show his players a video scouting report on the Falcons.

"It will be the third pregame scout this week and we haven't played a game yet," he said.

The Pirates-Sound Tiger game has not been rescheduled.

The Pirates have five open dates in the third week of the month (Feb. 18-22). "That would be the best time for us," Edwards said.

According to the list of events on its website, the Webster Bank Arena is scheduled to host an NCAA men's basketball game between Iona and Fairfield on Feb. 18, and the Harlem Globetrotters on Feb. 22. Nothing is scheduled at the venue between those two events.

The Pirates (27-16-1-1) are in first place in the AHL's Atlantic Division, three points ahead of Providence.

The snowstorm also wiped out Saturday night's Providence Bruins-Manchester Monarchs game. It has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

pbetit@pressherald.com

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH





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