Mancari leads Pirates to 3-2 series lead

2011 Calder Cup Playoffs

Playing just his second game of the series, forward Mark Mancari landed a game-high nine shots on goal and put up three points (1-2-3) as Portland regained control of its first-round series with a 5-4 win over visiting Connecticut on Thursday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The home team has captured all five games of this Atlantic Division semifinal, which the Pirates now lead by a 3-2 count heading back to Hartford for Game 6 on Saturday night.

Mancari paced the Pirates with 64 points (32-32-64) during the regular season but also played 20 NHL games with Buffalo and has spent the past week on a yo-yo between the NHL and AHL.

The two-time AHL All-Star cashed in on a first-period power play chance and then assisted on goals by AHL rookie of the year Luke Adam and veteran Mark Parrish, the latter of which proved to be the game-winner. Parrish nabbed a power play goal with 2:44 gone in the third period and just 1:08 after Connecticut had tied the game at 4-4.

Travis Turnbull and Dennis McCauley added scores for Portland, which built leads of 3-0 and 4-1 before the Whale got back into the game.

Connecticut received a pair of goals from Kris Newbury and one apiece from Chad Kolarik and Brodie Dupont, but it wasn’t enough for the Whale to stop their postseason losing skid in Portland from reaching seven games, dating back to 2006.

Defenseman Dennis Persson (0-3-3) and forward Corey Tropp (0-2-2) each posted multiple assists for the Pirates, and goaltender David Leggio turned aside 34 shots to pick up the victory in net.

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “A” (best-of-7)
A1-Portland Pirates vs. A3-Connecticut Whale || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – PORTLAND 3, Connecticut 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 16 – PORTLAND 3, Connecticut 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 17 – CONNECTICUT 3, Portland 1
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 19 – CONNECTICUT 3, Portland 1
Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 21 – PORTLAND 5, Connecticut 4
Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Portland at Connecticut, 7:00
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Connecticut at Portland, 7:00