GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – Two periods into Saturday night’s season opener at Adirondack, Ray Edwards felt pretty good despite the Pirates’ penalty-filled start.
In the third period, however, the Pirates gave up a power-play goal, a short-handed goal and an empty-net goal and fell to a 6-3 loss in front of 4,801 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
“Our lack of discipline really hurt us tonight,” said Edwards, whose team led 3-2 early in the second period and was tied 3-3 going into the third. “We were playing a solid road game, playing hard, our structure was good, and then we started the parade to the penalty box.
“You’re in a hockey game, it’s very competitive. In the third period, you’ve got to shut the door, and we didn’t,” he added. “We learned the hard way tonight.”
Ethan Werek, whose first AHL goal was a winner here 10 months ago, got the Pirates on the board with 11:52 left in the first period, beating Scott Munroe. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Andy Miele also scored on Munroe, But the Pirates committed nine penalties, played two men down on two occasions and gave up a short-handed goal in a rough-and-tumble game.
Brayden Schenn scored twice for the Phantoms, including an empty-net goal with 50 seconds remaining. Harry Zolnierczyk, Ty McGinn, Garrett Roe and Sean Courturier also scored for the Phantoms, who held a 47-33 edge in shots.
Phil Lane assisted on Werek’s goal. Ekman-Larsson, who was with Phoenix in the Stanley Cup playoffs last season and would be in the NHL if not for the lockout, scored with 51 seconds left in the first period. Miele had the assist.
With 1:14 gone in the second period, Miele’s unassisted goal made it 3-2, but the Pirates couldn’t get another goal.
Chad Johnson had 41 saves for the Pirates, who were 0 for 5 on the power play but successfully defended seven of eight times the Phantoms were up a man. Despite that, the penalties disrupted Portland’s play.
The Pirates are off until Friday when they host Worcester in Lewiston. The following night, they start a three-game road trip at Manchester.
Truth be told, Edwards wouldn’t mind another chance to get on the ice before Friday.
“It would be nice, but that’s the way it is early in the season,” he said. “This gives us a lot of chances to practice this week, and we’ve really got a lot to work on.