Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates let goal-den opportunity slip by

Portland, ME – It was an opportunity lost for the Pirates.

They had a chance to take a commanding lead over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals with one game remaining at the Cumberland County Civic Center, but they let it slip away as the Penguins went on for a 4-3 win, snapping the Pirates win streak at home to tie the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.

Now it’s a best-of-three series, with Game 5 tonight before the series moves to Wilkes-Barre on Friday.

After giving up the first goal, the Pirates would take a 2-1 lead on goals from Andrew Ebbett and Michal Birner, but it would only last for 49 seconds as Deryk Engelland scored his first of the playoffs at 13:49 of the second period to tie the game at 2-2.

That was the first sign that there was a kink in the armor for the Pirates. The second, which proved to be the deathblow, came with less than a minute to go in the second period.

At 19:34, with the game tied at 2-2, Connor James, in the slot, finished off the rush as the Penguins regained the lead after forty minutes of play.

It was a lead they didn’t lose the rest of the game and now the Pirates find themselves in a must-win situation. To lose game five would be disastrous for Portland with the next two games in Wilkes-Barre.

Once again, Mike McKenna (17 saves) was in net for the injured J.S. Aubin for the second straight game. According to Dineen, he doesn’t know when he’ll get Aubin back as he’ll be re-evaluated prior to leaving for Wilkes-Barre on Thursday.

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