LOWELL, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- The Lowell Lock Monsters made a successful AHL debut as Mark Lawrence scored twice in a 5-4 victory over the Portland Pirates. Lawrence opened the scoring 4:18 into the first period and tallied again with 7:25 to go in the second, extending Lowell's lead to 4-1. The Pirates closed within a goal on tallies by Casey Hankinson and Steve Poapst, but Dane Jackson got the eventual game-winner 68 seconds into the final period. Marcel Cousineau turned aside 34 shots for the Lock Monsters before a crowd of 6,492. Alexandre Volchkov and Mike Peluso had the other goals for Portland, which got 19 saves from Mike Rosati.
Nashua Telegraph- October 10, 1998
LOWELL, Mass. On yet another night of ceremonies and celebration during a historic 1998 in the city of Lowell, the Lowell Lock Monsters succeeded where the minor league baseball Spinners and college hockey River Hawks failed.
They won their season opener.
The Lock Monsters skated into their American Hockey League existence with a 5-4 win over the Portland Pirates at Paul E. Tsongas Arena Friday night, scoring three goals during a 6:42 blitz in the second period and holding off a late Pirates rally.
Mark Lawrence scored two of the Lowell goals and goalie Marcel Cousineau (22 saves) was solid protecting a one-goal lead down the stretch, and amidst the speeches from dignataries, fireworks and pageantry, the Lock Monsters sent 6,492 fans home happy.
"There were times when we played pretty well," acknowledged Lowell coach Frank Anzalone, celebrating his return to AHL hockey after seven years away, "but there were also times I dont want to say where we fell asleep but where our position play was erratic."
The Monsters gave up a few too many shots, left a little too much open ice and took a few too many penalties down the stretch to suit their coachs taste, but the victory was certainly well-received.
"Its really big to get that first win," Lawrence said. "It gets the monkey off your back right off the bat."
In a year thats seen two sterling new sports palaces open downtown (Tsongas Arena and LeLacheur Park) and three teams begin new eras in them, the Monsters gave fans of the region the most to cheer about in their debut.
Just about the time the smoke was lifting from pre-game fireworks, Lawrence was giving the Monsters a 1-0 lead, taking a Dean Malkoc pass in the slot and deking out goalie Mike Rosati (29 saves).
The Pirates tied it with a power play goal by Alexandre Volchkov 42 seconds into the second, but Lowell owned the next 12 minutes: Speedy Vladimir Orszagh gave them a 2-1 lead at 5:53, beating Rosati from his knees as Pirates defender Patrick Boileau dragged him down during a breakaway easily the prettiest goal of the night.
"Everyone in the organization has been waiting a long time for Orszagh to do something like that," Anzalone noted. And yes, New York Islanders coach/general manager Mike Milbury had a nice view of it, having addressed the crowd at the start and hung around for all three periods to see what the parent club has down on the farm.
Sean Haggerty made it 3-1 three minutes later, redirecting Ray Girouxs slap shot from the point, and Lawrence added his second soon after on a power play, one-timing a pass from behind the net for a 4-1 lead.
OK, there were some admittedly tense moments the rest of the way particularly when the Pirates crept to within 4-3 with a pair of extra-man goals but Lowell captain Dane Jackson tacked on some insurance in the opening moments of the third with a nifty wraparound from behind the net. Cousineau made a series of big stops during a 3:53 shorthanded stretch at the end of the game.
Pirates Drop Season Opener, 5-4 (portlandpirates.com)
Lowell, MA - The new look Portland Pirates showed grit and
determination in their first regular season
game. It didn't add up to a win, but it did show plenty of promise. The Pirates lost to the Lowell Lock
Monsters last night 5-4, in Lowell's first game in franchise history.
The Pirates continue on the road as they take on the Flames in Saint Johns, N.B.
The new look Portland Pirates showed grit and determination in their first regular season game. It didn't
add up to a win, but it did show plenty of promise. The Pirates lost to the Lowell Lock Monsters last night
5-4, in Lowell's first game in franchise history.
The Pirates outshot the Lock Monsters 14-7 in the first period, but trailed on a goal by Lowell's Mark
Lawrence. Portland evened the game in the second period on a goal by Alexandre Volchkov. Lowell would
come back to score the next 3 goals to put the Pirates in a 4-1 hole.
The Pirates recovered with a pair of power-play goals. Casey Hankinson scored his 1st professional goal
and Steve Poapst added an unassisted tally to close Portland to within 4-3 after two.
Lowell got the eventual game-winner about a minute into the third period when Dane Jackson slipped the
puck under Pirates goaltender Mike Rosati. The Pirates finished in a flurry with a goal by Mike Peluso and
several power-play opportunities. But Marcel Cousineau stopped Portland, making 13 saves in the final