December 12, 2010

Pirates strike back at Phantoms, 2-1

Portland makes Coach Kevin Dineen’s visit home a memorable one, rallying for a second straight win.

By BILL TOSCANO Special to the Telegram

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — Kevin Dineen never gets tired of visiting the Glens Falls Civic Center, where his father Bill coached the Adirondack Red Wings to a pair of Calder Cup titles.
Saturday’s visit, with his father watching from high above the ice, was even sweeter than most visits.

TODAY’S GAME

WHO: Portland Pirates at Manchester Monarchs

WHEN: 3 p.m.

WHERE: Verizon Wireless Arena

The Pirates rallied from a 1-0 deficit with two third-period goals to win their second game in as many nights, 2-1 over the Phantoms.

“I love coming back. It never gets old,” said Dineen, who has a home in nearby Glen Lake. “As much as it can be in the hockey world, the Lake George area is home to us.”

Paul Byron and Derek Whitemore each scored his eighth goal of the season in the final period. The Pirates killed a four-minute, late-game penalty, preserving the lead as goaltender Jhonas Enroth (28 saves) followed Friday’s 5-1 victory in Providence with a second excellent effort. He stopped a strong shot by Luke Pither in the final seconds.

“That was a great save,” said Dineen, whose team had lost three straight and was 1-5-0-1 going into the Providence game. “He was excellent for most of the night, and he played great (Friday), too. He had some huge saves down the stretch tonight.”

The Phantoms, who had snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory against Syracuse Friday, seemed intent on spoiling the homecoming, taking a 1-0 lead when Luke Pither raced down the right side and fired the puck past Enroth with 7:02 left in the period. Mike Testwuide got the assist.

“We got into some high-risk situations,” Dineen said. “But we came right out in the third period and scored the power-play goal, which was a huge goal for us.”

The first period was scoreless, but not without action. The Phantoms held a 12-10 edge in shots and also had the better of the chances. Portland killed a pair of power plays and Adirondack killed one.

Both teams were a man down after a fight immediately off the opening faceoff. Zac Rinaldo went after Corey Tropp, and both players received five minutes for fighting.

Enroth was the difference in the first period, making several nice saves. Adirondack’s Michael Leighton (28 saves), still on a rehabilitation visit with the Phantoms, was also sharp much of the game.

One of Portland’s best chances was an effective pass from Tropp to Dennis McCauley, but Leighton made the save.

The Phantoms appeared poised to score when there was a loose puck behind Enroth, but it turned out there were somehow two pucks on the ice, and the ruling was that Enroth stopped the official puck.

The second period appeared to be much the same as the first, though the Pirates started to tilt play in their favor.

Then came the goal and a 1-0 deficit.

Portland outshot the Phantoms 12-6 in the period and held a 22-18 edge going into the final period.

The victory keeps the Pirates in second place in the AHL Atlantic Division, a point ahead of Worcester and three behind Manchester.

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