Saturday, January 1, 2011
Tim Kennedy netted his second straight overtime game-winning goal against the Pirates on a power-play, only 24 seconds into the extra period to lead his Connecticut Whale to a 5-4 victory over the Portland Pirates in an American Hockey League game played this evening in front of 6,733 at the Cumberland County Civic Center. This evening’s attendance marked the second sellout of the season for the Pirates, joining the November 5th matchup against the Adirondack Phantoms.
NHL veterans Todd White and Jason Williams each earned a goal and an assist, and Wade Redden tallied three assists to help the Whale improve to 17-12-2-5 on the season and move them into a tie with Portland for second place in the Atlantic Division.
Paul Byron led the Pirates with a goal and an assist, extending his goal scoring streak to three games, while they dropped to 18-10-4-1 on the year.
In the first period, the Pirates matched their total offensive output from the previous matchup on Mark Mancari’s team-leading 14th goal of the season.
However, the Whale would rebound quickly in the second with consecutive goals by Chad Kolarik and White to give them a brief 2-1 lead. A few minutes later with five minutes left in the period, Byron extended his goal scoring streak to three games on a penalty shot, beating Connecticut goaltender Chad Johnson for the first successful Pirates penalty shot since February 13, 2009 when Felix Schutz beat Taylor Dakers of Worcester. The two teams would see-saw back and forth throughout the third as Newbury started the fireworks by registering the first shorthanded goal of the season for Connecticut (previously the only AHL team without a shorthanded goal) only 0:23 into the period. Exactly five minutes later, Portland’s Justin Bowers scored his first goal as a Pirate in his second stint with the team and Williams would chip in with his first goal as a member of the Whale at the 7:20 mark to give them their third lead of the game at 4-3. The Pirates again tied the game midway through the third on Colin Stuart’s seventh goal of the season and 150th career AHL point. The score would remain the same through the rest of the period as the teams headed to extra time for the second straight game. Kennedy once again one-upped his former team, 12 seconds sooner than Wednesday night, sending the Whale to their third straight victory.
The Connecticut out-shot Portland 31-28 for the night and Enroth took the loss, dropping his record to 9-10-1.
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were 1. Kennedy, 2. Byron and 3. Wade Redden.
The Pirates will be on the road for their next game this Sunday, January 2nd at 3:00 p.m. as they travel to Worcester to take on the Sharks in game four of the UNUM Challenge. Fans can tune-in to 95.5 News Talk WLOB to listen to the game live from the DCU Center, with the pregame show starting at 2:45 p.m. The next Pirates home game will take place on Friday, January 7th when the Springfield Falcons come to town. The first 1,500 fans through the gates will receive thundersticks courtesy of Goodwill. It will also be Camp Bow Wow Adopt-a-Dog Night as Almost Home Rescue will have dogs at the game for fans to adopt. Fans can receive two free tickets to a future Pirates game with a donation to Goodwill or by donating a dog toy or a dog or cat food item. All donations and proceeds for Camp Bow Wow Adopt-a-Dog Night will go to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, the Animal Welfare Society of Kennebunk, the Planet Dog Foundation, and the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation. Tickets for the game, as well as each of the remaining Pirates home games, are on sale now by calling 207-775-3458, visiting the Cumberland County Civic Center Box Office or on-line at ticketmaster.com.
- PORTLAND PIRATES -