Maine Hockey Journal

Kennedy nets hat trick in wild win for Pirates

Lowell, Mass. – The Pirates hung on in a crazy back and forth game to pick up a 7-6 shootout win over the Devils. Tim Kennedy scored his first professional hat trick in the win.

Lowell got the first goal of the night as Anssi Salmela blasted a slap shot from the left point on the power play and beat Portland goaltender John DeCaro to make it 1-0. The goal came 7:38 into the period on a power play with Nicklas Bergfors and Matthew Corrente picking up the assists. The Pirates answered less than a minute later when Aaron Slattengren got a breakaway. The forward missed the net, but hustled to the loose puck behind the cage and slid it in front to Tim Kennedy, who beat Frazee for his 10th goal of the season. Slattengren got the lone assist. Lowell fought right back ahead, as Rod Pelley threw a big hit deep in the Pirates end on Kenny MacAulay. Pelley got the puck loose and stepped in front of the net where he beat DeCaro on a backhand to put the Devils on top 2-1. Pelley’s 11th of the year came at the 12:07 mark of the first with Matt Halischuk and Matthew Corrente earning the assists. Again the Pirates found themselves behind and again Portland fought back. With just 3:42 left in the period, Colton Fretter took a pass from Felix Schutz on the right wing and beat Frazee with a wrister to tie the game at two.

Portland took the lead for the first time 4:51 into the second period when Tim Kennedy grabbed a loose puck to the right of the net, dragged it in front and stuffed it past Frazee for his second goal of the night and his 11th of the season. The power play marker was assisted by Mathieu Darche and Marc-Andre Gragnani. The Devils answered right back at the 12:06 mark of the middle frame when Nicklas Bergfors ripped a shot on the power play and put it under the crossbar for his 11th goal of the season. Anssi Salmela and Pascal Rheaume got assists on the play. Just over two minutes later Marek Zagrapan was the benefactor of a beautiful pass from Felix Schutz on a power play, as Schutz fed it through the lower slot to Zagrapan right off the right post. Zagrapan banged it home for an easy tally and his 14th goal of the season came on a power play from Schutz and Mike Kostka. After two periods, the Pirates held a 4-3 lead.

Just past the midpoint of the third period, Barry Tallackson tied the game for the Devils with his 8th goal of the season from Nicklas Bergfors and Pascal Rheaume on a power play goal. Portland came right back at the other end, as Tim Kennedy picked up a loose puck in front off a rebound and shelfed it under the cross bar to put Portland up 5-4. Kennedy completed a hat trick with the goal, as Aaron Slattengren and Mathieu Darche earned assists on the play. At the 19:00 mark, Mark Mancari scored his 22nd goal of the season into an empty net to put Portland up 6-4. Mathieu Darche grabbed a helper on the play. Lowell refused to go away though, as Matt Halischuk scored his 10th goal of the season at the 19:36 mark from Rod Pelley and Olivier Magnan. That cut the Pirates lead to 6-5, and the Devils kept the net empty and took advantage of a late power play. Lowell’s leading scorer Jon DiSalvatore fed the puck cross ice to Anssi Salmela at the right point. The defenseman launched a one-timer past John DeCaro to tie the game at 6 and force overtime. Neither team scored in the extra session and they headed to a shootout.

Colton Fretter was the first to shoot for the Pirates, and beat Frazee to put Portland on the board 1-0. Mark Mancari added another off a nice deke to get Frazee down and out, and none of the Devils four shooters beat DeCaro as the Pirates clinched the 7-6 shootout win.

Portland goaltender John DeCaro improves to 3-0-0 after stopping 43 of 49 shots through 65 minutes and all four shootout shots he faced. Jeff Frazee took the loss for Lowell, stopping 34 of the 39 shots he saw and 2 of 4 in the shootout.

Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the Game: 1. Tim Kennedy (POR) 2. Anssi Salmela (LOW) 3. Nicklas Bergfors (LOW)

Notes: The Pirates have now played the first of seven straight road games. Mathieu Darche and Tim Kennedy have four game point streaks. Tim Kennedy has 7 goals in his last 7 games after scoring five in his first 42. Kennedy notched his first career hat trick. Mathieu Darche racked up three assists, tying the Pirates season high by a player in one game. Paul Baier made his return to the lineup after missing 13 games with a broken jaw. He suffered the injury in a fight with Providence’s Adam McQuaid where the linesman didn’t tie up both players. To make room for Baier, Zach Tarkir was a healthy scratch.

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