March 9, 2013

Pirates fall in overtime again

Portland rallies from a two-goal deficit, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton recovers to earn a 4-3 win.

PORTLAND — Chad Kolarik scored a power-play goal 38 seconds into overtime Saturday night to lift the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 4-3 win over the Portland Pirates before a crowd of 5,527 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The Pirates lost in overtime for the second straight night. On Friday, they blew a 3-0 lead before losing to the Manchester Monarchs, 4-3.

Against the Penguins, Portland rallied from an early 2-0 deficit and held the lead briefly.

“It was competitive game, a very highly-contested game, lots of emotion in the game,” Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. “We hung around the game and found a way to get the game into overtime.”

The Pirates lost their poise in the latter stages, however, taking a couple undisciplined penalties.

“You can’t win important games, meaningful games, when you take penalties like that,” Edwards said. “We have to find a solution because that was unacceptable.”

A roughing penalty against Chris Brown negated a Portland power play with 1:32 left in regulation.

With 11 seconds remaining, Maxim Goncharov was called for a cross check, paving the way for the Penguins’ power play in overtime.

“We battled back and took an undisciplined penalty at the end, and it cost us,” Brown said. “Our emotions are high, and it’s just something we’ve got to fix.”

The Penguins took a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes.

Defenseman Joe Morrow put in a wrist shot from the top of the left circle 70 seconds into the Penguins’ first power-play opportunity, then center Jayson Megna tipped a shot past goalie Mike Lee after Kolarik got his stick on a rebound near the bottom of the right circle and fired another shot on net. 

Portland tied it when Chris Conner and Brown scored in a 1:27 span late in the second period.

Conner got his 11th goal on a shot from near the right hash mark, after Andy Miele won a faceoff in the left circle while the teams were skating four-on-four. Brown scored a power-play goal on a shot from the right circle.

Brown scored his team-high 22nd goal on a breakaway less than two minutes into the third period.

Two minutes later, Zach Sill jammed a rebound inside the left post to make it 3-3.

NOTES: Biddeford native Brian Dumoulin, a rookie defenseman, had 19 minutes, 19 seconds of ice time for the Penguins in his first game as a pro at the Cumberland County Civic Center. ... Defenseman David Rundblad returned to the lineup after spending the past month in the NHL with Phoenix.

Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

pbetit@pressherald.com

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH

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