PORTLAND PULLS OUT TO BIG LEAD, HOLDS ON
PORTLAND, ME – The Portland Pirates scored three times in the first period, then held on to post a 5-4 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The loss dropped the Penguins' record to 3-3-0-1 on the season, whiel Portland improved to 4-1-0-0.
Marc-Andre Gragnani, Marek Zagrapan and Nathan Gerbe each scored in a span of 11:24 to give the hosts a commanding lead after one period.
The Penguins finally got on the board when Dave Gove netted a shorthanded goal midway through the second frame, beating goaltender Jhonas Enroth during a 3-on-1. Gerbe restored the three-goal lead with his second of the evening, a power play tally, with four mintues left in the second.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton comeback continued in the third period. Jeff Taffe scored 2:13 into the frame, and Chris Minard netted his league-leading seventh goal of the season 13 minutes later to pull the Penguins to within one goal.
Zagrapan notched his second of the night into an empty net with less than one minute remaining, and the goal would prove to be needed, as Taffe recorded his sixth of the season with the John Curry pulled in favor of a sixth attacker.
Curry stopped 17 of 21 shots in his first full game of the season, while Minard stretched his point streak to seven games (7+6-13). Janne Pesonen saw his point and assist streaks snapped at six games.