PORTLAND - The Connecticut Whale took advantage of a pair of power play goals, as well as a shorthanded goal to roll past the Portland Pirates 4-1 in front of 6,944 fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center Saturday night. The win is the second in five days and second consecutive win for the Whale over the Pirates.
The Pirates were unable to capitalize on three early power plays, including a full five on three power play. Kris Newbury was sent off for a cross check, as Blake Parlett picked up a simultaneous tripping call at the 5:01 mark. The Whale were able to kill off two man advantage, but the Pirates still struck first. Ethan Werek took a cross ice pass from Brett Hextall to beat Whale starter Jason Missiaen just under the blocker for his seventh goal of the year at 8:49. Newbury responded for the Whale on their first power play of the game, letting a shot go from just inside the faceoff circle and over the shoulder of Mark Visentin for his 15th of the season at 13:38. Newbury's goal was his 5th in his last three games and third against the Pirates this week.
The Whale were on the power play again early in the second period, as Chris Conner was sent off for a trip just 40 seconds in.. This time, Newbury set up line mate Chad Kolarik, who took a hard slap pass from Newbury in front and redirected the puck past Visentin for his 16th of the season at 1:21. The Pirates were unable to convert on the man advantage in the second, as they would end the period 0 for 2 on the power play.
The Pirates' power play struggles continued in the third. Connecticut forward Shayne Wiebe took advantage of a miscommunication in the Portland zone, jumping on a loose puck and beating Visentin for the shorthanded goal at 4:32. The Whale extended the lead by scoring their first even strength goal of the night, as Kelsey Tessier snuck behind the Pirates' defense and would be sent in on a breakaway by Parlett. Tessier's backhand shot slid under the pads of Visentin to give the Whale the 4-1 advantage at 8:26 of the third. The Pirates were unable to score on a pair of power plays in the third as well, ending the night 0 for 7.
The Pirates fall to 24-14-1-1 on the year, while Mark Visentin drops to 9-8-1-1. The Connecticut Whale improve to 17-19-3-1, while Jason Missiaen is now 4-3-1-1.
The Pirates get back to action on the road tomorrow as they face the Manchester Monarchs