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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

Lock Monsters open their inaugural AHL season in style with solid victory
By MIKE ZHE, Telegraph Sports Correspondent

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 don’t 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 coach’s taste, but the victory was certainly well-received.

"It’s really big to get that first win," Lawrence said. "It gets the monkey off your back right off the bat."

In a year that’s 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 Giroux’s 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.

Portland Press Hearld- October 10, 1998
Pirates drop opener in Lowell
By Mike Lowe
Staff Writer

LOWELL, Mass. - Well, Mark Kumpel promised the Portland Pirates would be exciting and competitive.

That they were Friday night. But it wasn't enough to keep them from losing their season opener 5-4
to the Lowell Lock Monsters before a crowd of 6,492 at the Tsongas Arena.

The Pirates, with seven rookies in the lineup, scrapped to the end but were held off by a more experienced team. Goalie Marcel Cousineau made 34 saves as the expansion Lock Monsters won their inaugural game.

''The only thing that was missing was the win,'' said Kumpel, the first-year coach of the Pirates. ''We played 47 minutes of hockey in someone else's building and only lost by one. So I'm happy.

''I saw a lot of good things out there. Now, we've got to learn from our mistakes.

Lowell led 4-3 entering the final period and quickly made it a two-goal margin just 68 seconds into the period on a Dane
Jackson goal set up by miscommunication in the Pirates' defensive zone.

''We let up a little and the winner ends up in our net,'' said Kumpel. ''You can't let up for one minute, especially in someone
else's building. We did and it cost us.''

Cousineau kept it at 5-3 until Portland's Mike Peluso redirected a Trent Whitfield crossing pass into the goal with 7:26 remaining. And while the Pirates threatened several times on the power play, they could not beat Cousineau again.

''I thought we played fairly well,'' said Pirates defenseman Nolan Baumgartner. ''It looked like the old Portland team of the past couple of years. We never stopped working and I think we showed a lot out there.

''Obviously we had a couple of defensive breakdowns, but that's going to happen. I think we showed a lot of promise for things to come.''

The Lock Monsters led 1-0 after the first period thanks mainly to Cousineau, who had 14 saves in the first 20 minutes.
The Pirates still trailed by one after the second period, but they had to scramble to keep it that close.

Alexandre Volchkov had tied the game just 42 seconds into the second period with a power-play goal. Then Lowell scored three unanswered goals to seemingly take control.

Vladimir Orsvagh broke the 1-1 tie at 5:53 of the second, beating goalie Mike Rosati while being pulled down from behind by
Portland's Patrick Boileau. Then Sean Haggerty, at 9:06, and Mark Lawrence, his second of the game at 12:35, scored power-play goals on tap-ins at the top of the crease to make it 4-1.

But the Pirates came back with two power-play goals of their own in the last 4:40 to make it 4-3.
Casey Hankinson got his first professional goal at 15:20 when his screened wrister somehow floated past Cousineau. Then Steve Poapst scored an unassisted goal, placing a soft wrister just inside the left post.

Pirates Drop Season Opener, 5-4 (

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


DATE: 10/9/98
OFFICIALS: Watson, Costello and Campetelli ATT.: 6,492
1 4:18 Lowell Mark Lawerence (1) Dean Malkoc Mike Gaul
2 0:42 Portland Alexandre Volchkov (1) Power Play Nolan Baumgartner  
2 5:53 Lowell Vladimir Orzagh (1) Steve Webb  
2 9:06 Lowell Sean Haggerty (1) Power Play Ray Giroux Craig Charron
2 12:35 Lowell Mark Lawerence (2) Power Play Warren Luhning Vladimir Chebutrkin
2 15:20 Portland Casey Hankinson (1) Power Play Rick Mrozik  
2 18:53 Portland Steve Poapst (1) Power Play Unassisted  
3 1:08 Lowell Dane Jackson (1) Sean Haggerty Craig Charron
3 12:34 Portland Mike Peluso (1) Trent Whitfield  


GOALS 1 2 3 O T
0 3 1 0 4
1 3 1 0 5
Mike Rosati Portland 60:00 24 19 L
Marcel Cousineau Lowell 60:00 36 31 W
SHOTS 1 2 3 O T
14 8 14 0 36
7 13 4 0 24

1 0:55 Lowell Mark Lawerence Obstruction
1 12:01 Portland Jeff Paul Elbowing
1 12:01 Lowell Warren Luhning Unsportsmanlike Conduct
1 15:59 Lowell Dimitri Nabokov Unsportsmanlike Conduct
1 16:36 Portland Kent Hulst Interference
1 19:26 Lowell Steve Webb Boarding
2 2:09 Portland Rick Mrozik Cross-Checking
2 7:24 Portland Casey Hankinson Hooking
2 11:45 Portland Patrick Boileau Tripping
2 14:36 Lowell Mike Gaul Delay of Game
2 17:24 Lowell Dean Malkoc Delay of Game
3 6:46 Portland Patrick Boileau Holding
3 12:34 Portland Mark Major Fighting, Roughing
3 12:34 Lowell Dean Malkoc Fighting, Game Misconduct
3 12:34 Lowell Webb Roughing
3 13:06 Portland Brad Church Roughing
3 13:06 Portland Mark Lawerence Roughing, Cross-Checking
3 14:59 Lowell Vladimir Chebuturkin Boarding
3 20:00 Portland Nolan Baumgartner Fighting, Elbowing (Major)
3 20:00 Portland Jean-Pierre Dumont Fighting
3 20:00 Lowell Mike Kennedy Fighthing
3 20:00 Lowell Steve Webb Fighting

Three Stars of the Game (Selected by Alex)

1 Mark Lawernce, Lowell
2 Marcel Cousineau, Lowell
3 Alexandre Volchkov, Portland