02/04/2014 8:34 PM
The Pirates are about to embark on their toughest road trip of the season, one that will pit them against three teams currently in the playoffs—the Binghamton Senators, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Hershey Bears.
As if that was not tough enough, the Pirates are coming off a weekend that saw them drop three straight games at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. The team was back on the ice Tuesday looking to move forward and start their upcoming road trip on a more positive note.
“Last weekend, obviously, its a tough weekend for us,” Pirates captain Jordan Szwarz said. “It’s in the past, we want to put it behind us now. We have three more games before the All-Star break now. they’re three big games for us against three good teams. We’re really going to have to bind together here this week and play some solid road games. We’ve had some success on the road throughout the year and I just think that we have to carry that over.”
While the team struggled as far as the win column, there were positives to be taken out of the weekend too.
“I thought we did a lot of little things good,” Szwarz said. “Little things like blocking shots, guys were paying the price, guys were sticking up for each other. Little things like that go a long way.”
“There were definite places and pieces of games that we showed this morning [Tuesday] that you’re real happy with,” Pirates head coach Ray Edwards said. “Just playing as five and some structure stuff that we did real good and some D-zone clips that were really good but you have to be consistent with it. And what I think happened last weekend is when we lost momentum, we got away from doing those things.”
Just a few days ago, the Binghamton Senators came into Lewiston and handed the Pirates a 7-1 defeat. In that game, there were 12 fighting majors and a combined 224 penalty minutes between the two squads, including 148 penalty minutes in the third period alone.
Now, the team will travel to Binghamton looking to avenge Saturday’s loss. Edwards said they will have to be sharper playing a team that has so much speed and skill.
“You have to manage the puck well against them,” he said. “They transition well, they have a lot of team speed and again, just defensively in the D-zone, we’re going to have to be quick, close quick, we’re going to have to make sure we’re simple getting pucks out.”
“They’re a high-skilled team,” Szwarz agreed. “If we turn the puck over they’re going to capitalize on it. If we take penalties, they have a good power play and they’ll capitalize so we have to play a hard, disciplined game and keep our mistakes to a minimum.”
The Pirates and Senators are set for a 7:05 PM start on Wednesday and the game can be heard on the Pirates flagship stations WPEI 95.5/95.9 FM as well as WEZR AM 1240 in the Lewiston/Auburn area and WTME AM 780/1450 in Oxford County. The game can also be heard online at portlandpirates.com by clicking “Listen Live” and can be seen live on AHL Live atahllive.com. The pregame show starts at 6:45 with Jeff Mannix. Follow all the action on the Pirates official Facebook page and Twitter account (@PortlandPirates) with the hashtag #PiratesAway.