March 16, 2010

Pirates drive off Memory Lane

On a night to honor their last AHL title, the Pirates suffer a 6-2 drubbing from Binghamton.

PORTLAND — Skull cap. Eye patch.


WHO: Springfield Falcons vs. Portland Pirates

WHEN: 4 p.m.

WHERE: Cumberland County Civic Center

The round Portland Pirates face of yesteryear gazed off the team jerseys on retro night at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday, held in honor of the club's last championship in 1994.

Inspiration was lost on this year's team.

The Binghamton Senators beat Portland 6-2 in front of a crowd of 6,570. The Pirates fell behind 3-2 in the second period and never recovered.

Portland (36-22-5-3) also lost starting goalie Jhonas Enroth just 5:21 into the game following a collision in front of the goal.

His status was unclear, said Coach Kevin Dineen. Enroth was seen after the game on crutches with a walking cast boot on his left foot.

"He got caught in an awkward position," said Dineen. "Your body goes in places it doesn't like."

Backup J.P. Lamoureux made 23 saves on 29 shots in his 20th appearance of the season.

Dineen said the real reason for the loss was his team got into a game of trading chances with the Senators (27-31-5-3) and came up short. It was Portland's fourth loss in five games.

"All the games we lost on the road were very competitive and had a lot of emotion. Tonight was a long way from those kinds of games," he said. "We got soundly beat by not a very good team, based on their record. They have a lot of skill. We can trade chances all night. But sometimes nights like tonight you'll start giving up pretty ugly goals."

The score stood at 3-2 after two periods, but spiraled away in the third.

Binghamton right wing Ryan Keller stripped a Portland defenseman of the puck behind the goal, and wrapped it around for a score at 7:04 of the third to make it 4-2.

Zack Smith then roofed a short-handed breakaway at 10:08 to make it 5-2.

And with 22.5 seconds left -- and Portland's Kyle Wanvig serving a double minor -- Jason Bailey made it 6-2 with a backhander from just above the crease.

"We got caught in a run-and-gun game," said Pirates forward Travis Turnbull.

After Enroth skated off on one leg just 5:21 into the first period, Portland struck first.

Nathan Gerbe scored on the power play at 13:53, backhanding a shot through a screen from above the hash marks.

Exactly two minutes later, Binghamton's Geoff Kinrade scored the equalizer off the rush to make it 1-1.

Portland got a short-handed goal from Turnbull at 1:06 of the second to go up 2-1. Turnbull dived over the blue line to poke the puck forward to Jeff Cowan in an odd-man rush and preceded to crash the net and put away the rebound.

"Jeff made a really great play. But it's all about finishing the game," said Turnbull.

Binghamton scored back-to-back goals at 9:28 and 13:12 to make it 3-2.


NOTES: Former Pirate Jeff Nelson dropped the ceremonial first puck. He was a member of the 1994 Calder Cup champion Pirates. ... The parent Buffalo Sabres loaned wing Mark Mancari to the Pirates on Saturday.


Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:


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