The Pirates opened their weekend up against the Worcester Sharks Friday night at the DCU Center where they held a one-goal lead from Chris Brown for most of the game until the Sharks struck with three goals in the third period, carrying them to a 3-1 victory. After the loss against the Sharks they packed up and headed to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to take on the Penguins.
Last night it would be the Penguins that would strike first after the Pirates led in shots through the first ten minutes. Riley Holzapfel would open the scoring at 13:08 in the first period and then Trevor Smith would take over. Smith was able to net two goals before ending the first twenty minutes of regulation, one only 1:23 after the first goal was scored.
During the second period the Pirates fought their way back from the three-goal deficit they found themselves in, making it a one-goal difference heading into the final minutes. Forward Brandon Gormley and Chris Brown each scoring for Portland. As the third period began, the tying goal would come from none other than Alexandre ‘the Great’ Bolduc at 3:39. Though both teams battled and tried their hardest to get the extra mark in regulation, they couldn’t convert and sent the game into overtime.
The Pirates dominated possession in the additional minutes, but unfortunately weren’t able to find the back of the net and headed into their first shootout of the season. For Portland net minder Mark Visentin it was the first shootout of his career and he allowed two goals against him, one in the second round and the other in the fourth, sealing only one of the possible 2-points for the night. Eric Tangradi netting the game-winning shot.
Today they head to Hershey to take on the Bears at 5:00pm ET for the first of two meetings this season. Last season the series was split at a game a piece, the last meeting being on April 13 where the Pirates won 6-4. Altogether these two teams have met up for a total of 47 times, the Pirates holding a 29-17 advantage.
The Hershey Bears have a very active roster when it comes to scoring, with 22 different guys being on the score sheet so far this season in only eleven games. Their leader, Paul Thompson with 6 goals and 3 assists. Of course, what would a goal scorer be without the guy setting him up? For Hershey, that guy is Beau Bennett who has one goal and 6 assists on the season so far.
The Pirates are also going to have a hard time getting past goaltender Braden Holtby, who made a big name for himself last season in his NHL debut for the Washington Capitals in the playoffs, helping to defeat the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins in the first round. Currently Holtby is ranked 11th in the AHL for his goals against average of 1.97 and has made 171 saves on 181 shots faced.