Monday, March 10, 2014
By DAVE RICCI Special to the Press Herald
BUFFALO, N.Y. — It isn't panic; right now, it's just frustration.
WHO: Manchester Monarchs at Pirates
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday
Jeff Taffe scored with 1:05 remaining to lift the Rochester Americans to a 3-2 victory Sunday over the Portland Pirates at HSBC Arena.
While the Americans' extended their winning streak to four games, the Pirates completed an unkind weekend with their third consecutive loss, all one-goal decisions.
"It's no fun. We're a little frustrated right now," said Pirates forward Derek Whitmore, "but we didn't really play our best hockey this weekend so we've just got to go over what we did, try to learn from it. We can't really make excuses. Everyone's got to do the travel -- play here, play there, (ride) on the bus.
"It's three (games) in three (days) and we've had three one-goal losses, so we're all pretty frustrated now. But with a good week of practice and we go back home for four (games) so we can regroup."
Taffe took a pass from Mike York, raced into the Pirates' zone and fired a slap shot that beat Jhonas Enroth top corner on his glove-hand side.
Taffe also had a role in the Amerks' second goal of the game when he took a pass, drew Enroth to the right side of the net and returned the pass to York, who buried it in the open space for a 2-1 lead.
Victor Oreskovich's goal less than two minutes into the second period pulled the Amerks into a 1-1 tie as they controlled the tempo and increased the pressure on Enroth, outshooting the Pirates 16-9 in the period.
The Pirates got off to a quick start as Travis Turnbull scored his sixth goal of the season at 8:13 of the first period.
Turnbull crashed the net and poked a shot past Rochester goalie Tyler Plante, who was unable to control the puck after a shot from the point by Mike Kostka.
The Pirates made adjustments in the third period and were much sharper. Cody McCormick tied the game at 2 with a power-play goal 4:39 into the period.
The Pirates were short-handed, playing without Tyler Ennis (concussion), Brad Larsen (lower-body injury) and Mark Mancari, who was promoted to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.
"It's a not a situation where everything is going wrong," said assistant coach Eric Weinrich. "It's little correctable mistakes that are happening, it's not something that you need to work on all year. It's just simple hockey plays.
"Those are all of the things that confident teams do automatically; teams that are losing one-goal games, they don't do those things."
Weinrich served as bench coach Sunday while head coach Kevin Dineen was suspended.
According to a timesunion.com blog, the AHL suspended Dineen indefinitely pending completion of a league review as a result of his actions after Saturday night's game at Syracuse.
Dineen disputed an official's denial of what Dineen thought was a tying goal late in the game.