Sunday, March 9, 2014
By TOM ROBINSON/Special to the Telegram
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Alexandre Bolduc made key plays from the edge of each crease on the same shift early in the third period Saturday night.
Bolduc's two-way effort completed a comeback from a three-goal, first-period deficit and helped the Portland Pirates salvage a point in the American Hockey League standings in a game they ultimately lost to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-3 in a shootout.
The Pirates scored twice in the second period but found themselves in a tough spot in the third.
Goalie Mark Visentin made a save but lost his stick in a scramble to his right. With the puck loose and Visentin scrambling to gain control, Bolduc leveled a Penguin.
"There was a bit of a melee there in front of our net," Pirates Coach Ray Edwards said.
The Pirates came out of the scramble with the puck and rushed up ice. Chris Brown took a Scott Arnold pass in the left circle and had his shot stopped by Penguins goalie Brad Thiessen. Brown got his own rebound and slid the puck across the crease, leading a hard-charging Bolduc, who knocked it in for the tying goal at 3:39.
Bolduc's hustle gave the Pirates a shot at the win in overtime. His charge up the left wing drew a late slashing penalty against Dylan Reese, setting up a two-minute, four-on-three power play to start overtime.
"I liked the way we responded in the second period," Edwards said. "We fought back to get a point, but in that four-on-three we had about four really good chances to win the game."
Thiessen stopped four shots during the power play and eight total in overtime, giving him 36 in the game. He then stopped all four Pirates attempts in the shootout, while Benn Ferreiro and Eric Tangradi scored to give the Penguins their fourth win in five games.
The Pirates stormed Thiessen early, racking up a 12-2 lead in shots in the first half of the first period without scoring.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded with the next 14 shots, scoring three times in the process.
"The first 10 minutes of the first I thought we were fine," Edwards said. "We sort of laid down for the last 10 minutes and gave them room to skate."
Riley Holzapfel opened the scoring three seconds after a Penguins power play ended.
Trevor Smith, who entered the game with just one goal, scored twice in less than three minutes for a 3-0 lead.
The Pirates used their first power play to get to Thiessen, as Brandon Gormley scored 2:10 into the second period.
Gormley had one of the assists when Chris Brown scored at 12:30 of the second to bring the Pirates within one.