April 8, 2010

A busy time for Pirates' goalie

With Jhonas Enroth still sidelined, Portland turns the full-time job over to J.P. Lamoureux.

By Paul Betit pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Portland Pirates goalie J.P. Lamoureux says he likes to keep busy, and it looks like he's going to get his wish.

Until Jhonas Enroth fully recovers from an ankle injury that has kept him sidelined since March 13, Lamoureux will be the Pirates' main man.

"It's fairly obvious that J.P. is going to get the net in our playoff series," Pirates Coach Kevin Dineen said. "If he's physically comfortable playing all three games this weekend, he's going to do that."

To prepare for the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs, which begin next week on a date to be determined, Dineen said Lamoureux will start this weekend in each of the team's last three regular-season games. Lamoureux will continue to start until Enroth is healthy enough to play, Dineen said.

Enroth, who sprained his left ankle during a game against Binghamton nearly four weeks ago, isn't expected to resume practicing with the team until sometime next week.

"We're hoping to get Jhonas skating within a week," Dineen said Wednesday morning after practice at the Cumberland County Civic Center. "With the nature of his injury, we want to make sure he is comfortable when he gets on the ice and starts skating."

Ray Jean of Gardiner, who played at the University of Maine and at Bentley, manned one of the nets during Wednesday's practice.

Later in the day, the Pirates signed former Connecticut goalie Beau Erickson to a tryout contract to serve as Lamoureux's backup.

Todd Ford, who had been Lamoureux's backup for the previous three weeks, was returned Monday to the South Carolina Stingrays to play in the ECHL playoffs.

Erickson, who previously had played three games for the Stingrays, subsequently was released.

"I did a lot of homework over the last two days to make sure we weren't just bringing somebody in," Dineen said. "There were other options there, and we figured (Erickson) was the best fit right now."

Erickson, who played 85 games in three seasons at Connecticut, has appeared this season in a total of 26 games for three ECHL teams.

Lamoureux, in his first AHL season, seemed to relish the opportunity to play every game.

"I love it," he said. "That's kind of what I want."

Lamoureux has appeared in 28 of the Pirates' 77 games.

"If I'm playing a lot, I tend to play better hockey," he said. "I got used to it from carrying the load last year. It's not unfamiliar territory for me."

While leading the ECHL's Alaska Aces into the Kelly Cup finals last season, Lamoureux started 51 of 72 games during the regular season and all 21 playoff games.

"If you have a little bit more consistency on when you play, your routine stays more consistent," he said. "Any time a player gets in a comfortable groove, you get consistency in your performance."

Since Enroth's injury, Lamoureux has a 5-0-2-1 record. During that stretch, he has compiled a 2.38 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.

 

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

pbetit@pressherald.com

 

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