AHL Game Night 11/10: Pirates at Falcons

Bolt Prospects will be live blogging tonight's game via the B2 Networks feed. Check back during intermissions for period by period updates. Tonight's starting lineup includes a line of Keller/Corso/Blatny with Karri Ramo between the pipes.

POR-4
SPR-0 Final

First Period
1. POR- Carter, (Konopka, Parenteau)(PP)

Second Period
2. POR- Konopka, (Parenteau, Genoway)
3. POR- Parenteau, (Konopka)

Third Period
4. POR- Ferguson, (Wirtanen, Glencross)

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

First Period Notes:
Andy Rogers is a scratch in this game. Falcons took a penalty early at 41 seconds in but Portland wasn't terribly dangerous with that man advantage. At even strength, play was essentially even with neither team showing much flow or generating many chances. Portland didn't break through until the end of another power play midway through the period when Ryan Carter deflected a point shot by Konopka past Ramo. Ramo stopped 11 of 12 in the period, but the bulk of the shots haven't been terribly dangerous and from the perimeter. The Falcons squandered three straight penalties by Portland and a pair of short 5-on-3's later in the period. Coach Stirling has moved Jones off the point since I last saw the Falcons and is now playing Blatny up high with the extra man. Falcons were outshot 12-6, but the play wasn't as uneven as those totals indicate. Neither team looks like it has a ton of jump so the Falcons should be able to do something if they can shake off their early sluggishness.

Lines tonight to start are:

Keller/Corso/Blatny
Healey/Jones/Milley
Aulin/Desrochers/Kvapil
Deveaux/Fritz

Egener/Delmore
Smaby/O'Brien
Rosehill/Dufresne

Ramo
Boutin

Second Period Notes:
Terrible period. I don't understand how a team that has an opportunity to get back to .500 tonight can come out so completely flat. There's just no jump. No winning battles for loose pucks. And the team seems to be collapsing in their defensive zone and aren't challenging the Pirates when they have the puck.

Jared Aulin was hit with the hard luck bug on Portland's second goal. A late developing 2-on-1 down low for Portland saw Aulin accidentally deflect a centering pass into his own net past Ramo. Aulin had an opportunity to get the game to 2-1 when he stole the puck during a Portland breakout and turned a 1-on-1 play into a backhand chance that he slid just wide of the Portland net. Later, Portland moved the game to 3-0 when a clean faceoff win led to a quick Parenteau goal off a wrist shot that beat Ramo. It could've easilly been 4-0 but Ramo made a brilliant pad stack goal moving right to left to deny a wide open chance from the bottom of the right wing circle.

Coach Stirling started shuffling the lines and has moved Corso up with Milley and Healey and put Jones with Aulin and Kvapil. It hasn't worked, however.

Third Period Notes:
Well, other than Ramo there are no sympathetic figures wearing Falcons jerseys tonight. Andre Deveaux provided some much needed energy but also took a couple of penalties late. Jared Aulin had some offensive flash, but there was little substance and he finished -3 on the night. The rest of the Falcons? Sluggish, passionless effort. The team was outshot 43-18 including an abyssmal 17-3 in the second period. No one on this team stepped up to throw a hit or make a big play on the forecheck or anything to provide a spark. Terrible, terrible effort.

Karri Ramo started the third period by making another great save on a bang-bang one timer going left to right to keep the score at 3-0. The game could've easily been 6-0 or 7-0 tonight without Ramo between the pipes. The goal he allowed in the third came on a quick one timer from the bottom of the right wing circles off a centering feed from the right wing corner. Simon Ferguson beat Ramo on the shot low on the far side.

To me, Steve Stirling has to make some massive lineup shake ups for tomorrow night's game. The Falcons are not a team that can survive without putting forward a good effort, and they showed no effort tonight. None.