As he watched the puck rise high above the ice following a faceoff, Pirates defenseman Dylan Reese knew the second period was about to expire.

What he didn’t realize until moments later, was that he was among the few who had been able to track the flight of the fluttering puck, which he whacked just as it touched down inside the blue line.

Binghamton goaltender Peter Mannino never moved until after the puck skittered between his legs for the second goal of what would become a 3-0 American Hockey League victory for the Portland Pirates Wednesday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

“I don’t think anybody saw it but me, really,” Reese said. “I just got lucky and got it off quick before anyone knew where it was.”

A quiet crowd announced as 1,485 saw the Pirates (20-16) win their fifth in a row and Mike McKenna turn aside 35 shots for his second consecutive shutout and third in five games.

“I don’t think I’m doing anything different at all,” said McKenna, who played for Binghamton three seasons ago and carried his young daughter to the visiting clubhouse after the game to see his old buddies. “Sometimes you get locked into these rhythms where your mechanics are really solid and you don’t have to worry about things going sideways.”

McKenna and Portland’s penalty killers were able to thwart six Binghamton power plays. The Senators had plenty of chances in the third when the action got a bit chippy and the Pirates sent a parade of players to the penalty box, but Binghamton failed to beat McKenna despite an 18-11 advantage in shots in the third.

“I thought we were really good in front of him,” said Pirates Coach Ray Edwards. “In the first two periods I don’t think they had more than four or five (good) chances.”

Darian Dziurzynski scored twice for the Pirates, on a wraparound shot late in the first period and a short-side backbreaker early in the third that put the game out of reach. They were the sixth and seventh goals of the season for Dziurzynski, whose older brother, David, plays for Binghamton but wasn’t around at the end because of a late roughing penalty.

“Both goals (resulted) from attacking the net,” Edwards said. “He’s got a big body, he’s got good acceleration and he just keeps it simple.”

Jordon Southorn, recently moved to wing from defense, assisted on both Dziurzynski goals. Justin Hache helped with the first and Francis Wathier with the second.

Brendan Shinnimin, who took the faceoff immediately before Reese’s goal with 3.2 seconds left in the second period, was credited with an assist, as was Justin Hodgman.

The Pirates have outscored their opponents 15-4 during their winning streak, the third time this season they have strung together at least five victories.

“I think we’ve just been defending really well,” Dziurzynski said of the recent hot streak. “McKenna’s playing outstanding for us. So it starts from back there. We’re still not scoring enough goals, but that’s coming along, too.”

The Pirates return to action Friday night when they host Bridgeport before hitting the road for 11 of their next 13 games.

NOTES: Veteran center Alexander Bolduc, who played in his 501st AHL game Wednesday night, will represent the Pirates at the AHL All-Star Classic later this month in Utica, New York. Bolduc leads the Pirates in scoring (10 goals, 11 assists). The All-Star selection is his first. … Earlier Wednesday, the Pirates reassigned Greg Carey to Gwinnett of the East Coast League and signed forward Greg Miller to a professional tryout contract for the second time this season. He scored two goals and had an assist in six games during his first stint.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

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