Maine Hockey Journal

Wolf Pack wallow as Pirates advance to Atlantic Division Finals

The Wolf Pack were left with left scratching their heads as they head into yet another long summer after being eliminated in five games, on what they felt was a controversial goal scored by the Pirates.

Pirates’ defenseman Brett Festerling was credited with the go-ahead goal five minutes into the third period as Portland held on for the 3-2 win in game five of the best-of-seven series.

The Pirates will now face the Providence Bruins in the Atlantic Division finals.

Festerling wasn’t even credited with the goal right away, as there were questions about whether it was hit by a high-stick, but referee Ryan Fraser, after several minutes of discussion with the linesman, ruled the puck wasn’t hit by a high stick and credited the goal originally to Bobby Ryan. It was later changed to Festerling after they decided he hit the rebound by goaltender Miika Wiikman.

“We were clearly the better team, but they got help from the refs again,” said Miika Wiikman in a Hartford Courant interview.

Really Miika??

During the five game series, Portland had 28 power plays, while the Wolf Pack had 24 chances with the extra man. Nothing that certainly would suggest a clear advantage for either team.

The Wolf Pack and Pirates each had a player suspended for a game as result of a dangerous on-ice play. Again, nothing suspicious here.

It sounds more like a case of sour grapes by Wiikman and the rest of the Wolf Pack then anything else, because aside from the goal, the Wolf Pack have nobody else, but themselves to blame for losing this series. Simply put, they couldn’t capitalize on their chances and the Pirates did. When the game was on the line, who from the Wolf Pack stepped up and made that key play or save to push them over the top and give them a win.

It’s like the pot calling the kettle black, eh Miika?

Something I was on the Pirates about as the regular season was coming to a close was their power play and it can be another case in point to why the Wolf Pack lost the series. Going into the series, Hartford had the second best PP in the league, but yet they went an abysmal 2-for-24 (8%) with the man advantage, while the Pirates found the switch going for 5-for-28 (17.8) in five games. Nobody is going to win a series with numbers like that.

For the Pirates, they are peaking at the right time, as they will travel to Providence on Saturday to open Game one of the Atlantic Division Finals.

They are also getting healthy. Drew Miller returned to the line up after missing 12 games with an ankle sprain and last night Andy Schneider returned after missing 14 games with a broken right foot to score the tying goal for the Pirates.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply