Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates Sunk on the Hudson

Albany, NY – Shootouts are a killer.

One could not fault the Pirates on many things tonight for 65 minutes, but when points are at a premium, the Pirates failed to find a way to get it done when it counted the most.

The Portland Pirates built a 2-0 lead, but the Albany River Rats scored three unanswered goals before Portland responded with a late third period by Eric Weinrich, but the Rats would take the game to a shootout winning 3-2 in front of 7,806 at the Times Union Arena in Albany, NY on Saturday night.

The Pirates have failed eight times to win in the shootout and Pirates Head Coach feels the pressure as the Pirates fight for the final playoff spot.

“We lead the league in [shootouts] so it is something that can come back and bite you,” said Dineen. “There’s eight points we’ve given up strictly on shootouts and that’s the difference in us being in second place or fighting for a playoff position.”

Portland jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period as Joe Motzko worked his way down low burying his own rebound at 12:05 of the first period, beating River Rats goaltender Tyler Weiman.

Trevor Gillies, credited with an assist on the play earned his first point as a Pirate this season, but he was not done as before they could announce the goal, he scored his first goal of the season only 13 seconds later.

Of the face-off, the Pirates carried the puck into their zone, newcomer Mike Hoffman fired a shot from the right face-off circle, where a scramble ensued before Gillies batted the puck with a backhander by Weiman.

“He adds a lot of enthusiasm,” said Dineen. “When [Gilles] is not here you forget about his intangibles, which is he is so good in the room, he’s a very strong teammate. It was a very strong weekend so far for him.”

Before the period was over, the Rats pulled to within a goal as Kyle Cumiskey fired a shot through a slew of bodies from the top of slot, beating Pirates goaltender Sebastien Caron with 3:59 left in the period.

With Matt Murley serving two minutes for hooking one would think the Pirates would take advantage, but it was the Rats taking advantage, tying the game at 2-2 with 45 seconds left in the man advantage. Rats Captain Keith Aucoin and Anton Babchuk broke in the zone on a two-on-one. With Caron taking Aucoin as the shooter, he slipped the pass to Babchuk, who lifted the puck over a sliding Caron as the Rats erased a 2-0 deficit with 15:40 left to play in the period.

At 3:07 of the third period, Keith Aucoin notched his third point of the night, giving the River Rats a 3-2 lead as he picked the top right corner of the net with a nifty spin around shot at the left face-off circle for his 17th goal of the season.

Again, the Pirates could not hold the lead, but found a way to tie game late in the period as Eric Weinrich scored his first goal of the season at 15:53 of the period. The puck squirted from the behind the net, where Weinrich snapped a shot by Weiman, tying the game at 3-3.

In overtime, the Pirates had a great opportunity to end it as Mark Hartigan had a breakaway on Weiman, but opted to fire a slapshot, missing the net completely.

In the shootout, Jakub Petruzalek goal in the shootout was all that was need for the Rats to defeat the Pirates in a shootout, giving the Pirates a league leading eighth shootout loss.

Plank Notes:
– Prior to the game Kent Huskins was recalled by the Anaheim Ducks. In 39 games with Portland, he has scored 3 goals, 12 assists for 15 points and 23 penalty minutes. This is Huskins second recall to Anaheim this season as he played 13 games with the Ducks in December and January, scoring one assist.
– Prompting the recall of Huskins was because the Anaheim Ducks dealt former Portland Pirate Shane O’Brien to the Tampa Bay Lightning along with a 2007 third-round draft pick for goaltender Gerald Coleman and a 2007 first-round pick. Coleman, 21, has played in three games with Springfield (AHL) this season, posting a 2-1-0 record, 2.01 goals-against average (GAA) and .940 save percentage (SV%). He has also played in 17 games with the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL, going 7-9-0 with a 3.41 GAA and .902 SV%. He will report directly to Portland.
– The Pirates will play their fourth game in five days as they return home to take on the Lowell Devils for an important match-up as both teams battle for 4th place in the Atlantic Division. Game time is 4:05pm.

Three Stars of the Game:
1. ALB – Keith Aucoin (1G, 2A, +1)
2. ALB – Anton Babchuk (1G)
3. POR – Trevor Gillies (1G, 1A, +2)

Shots on Goal:
POR 13-10-8-1-0=32
ALB 15-10-8-0-1=34

Goals by Period:
POR 2-0-1-0-0=3
ALB 1-1-1-0-1=4

Power Play Summary:
Portland Pirates PP – 0-for-3
Albany River Rats PP – 0-for-4

Scoring Summary:
1. POR Motzko, (20) (Gillies, Hartigan), 12:05
1. POR Gillies, (1) (Hoffman, Weinrich), 12:18
1. ALB Cumiskey, (5) (Aucoin, Conboy), 16:01
2. ALB Babchuk, (1) (Aucoin), 4:20 (SH)
3. ALB Aucoin, (17) (Bayda), 3:07
3. POR Weinrich, (1) (Bembridge, Miller), 15:53

Penalty Summary:
1 – ALB McCormick, 8:50 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
2 – ALB Murley, 3:05 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Ferguson, 6:53 – Goaltender interference , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Hartigan, 9:21 – Tripping , 2 min (PP)
2 – POR Amadio, 10:15 – Roughing , 2 min
2 – ALB Bayda, 10:15 – Slashing , 2 min (PP)
2 – ALB Bayda, 10:15 – Roughing , 2 min
2 – POR Miller, 12:44 – Hooking , 2 min (PP)
3 – POR Gillies, 9:46 – Roughing , 2 min (PP)

Shootout Summary:

Portland Shootout
Joe Motzko – No Goal
Geoff Peters – No Goal
Mark Hartigan – No Goal
Matt Keith – No Goal
Eric Weinrich – No Goal

Total: 0

Albany Shootout
Keith Aucoin – No Goal
Matt Murley – No Goal
Ryan Bayda – No Goal
Jakub Petruzalek – Goal
Antti Laaksonen – No Goal
Total: 1

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