Not much happened in the first and third periods of Sunday’s matinee hockey game between the Portland Pirates and Springfield Falcons at Cross Insurance Arena.

But the second period?

“It was just weird,” said Pirates Coach Ray Edwards.

Start with all the scoring in Portland’s 2-1 victory, then add 16 minutes of penalties, including a delay of game called on Pirates goalie Mike McKenna, who chased a puck nearly to the blue line and flipped it over the glass when an opposing player came out of the penalty box a few feet in front of him.

Oh, and Pirates defenseman Chris Summers was sent to the dressing room late in the period after Edwards got word of a trade by the parent Arizona Coyotes, who packaged Summers with Keith Yandle in a deal with the New York Rangers ahead of Monday afternoon’s NHL trade deadline.

“Our guys didn’t know what was going on,” Edwards said. “I give them a lot of credit for fighting through it. It’s tough on the players. There’s so much uncertainty, especially in our situation. There’s a lot of stuff going on and you don’t know if you’re going to be part of it.”


As for the scoring, the Pirates took a 1-0 lead eight minutes into the period when Justin Hodgman, skating into the slot, one-timed a pass from the end boards by Brendan Shinnimin. The goal was Hodgman’s ninth of the season. Jordan Szwarz also picked up an assist.

The Pirates had a chance to add to their lead after a four-minute high-sticking penalty to Springfield, but Shinnimin was whistled for interference less than a minute later, and the Falcons converted a steal into the tying goal by Mike Hoeffel in a four-on-four situation.

It was the only goal allowed by McKenna, who finished with 32 saves. Portland was outshot 33-20.

“To have him back there is kind of a security blanket for us,” said forward Jordan Martinook, whose 12th goal of the season proved decisive. “We didn’t play our best. We know that. But when he’s back there, you’re not too worried.”

Martinook broke the tie on a screened shot from the left point with each team back at full strength. Philip Samuelsson and Dylan Reese assisted.

“Initially, I was trying to go back door to Hodgman and it went off their (defenseman’s) stick and right in,” Martinook said.


“You’ve got to get lucky sometimes. I haven’t scored in a few games, so it was nice to get that one.”

It remained 2-1 the rest of the way, despite three power-play opportunities for the Pirates, who were 0 for 7 with a man advantage after going 2 for 2 Saturday night in a 4-3 victory over Manchester.

“It wasn’t a great game to watch by any stretch of the imagination,” Edwards said. “I thought we were actually really sloppy. Sometimes on Sundays that’s the way it is.

“But we found a way to get two points and right now that will be the focus. We’ll clean up the other stuff later in the week.”

NOTES: Forward Henrik Samuelsson and defenseman Dylan Reese returned to Portland from the NHL Coyotes, whose East Coast swing ended Saturday in Boston with a ninth straight loss. Samuelsson, 21, played Thursday against the Rangers and Saturday against the Bruins. Reese, 30, saw action Tuesday against the Islanders, for whom he played 74 games between 2009 and 2012. … Defenseman Patrick McNeill played his second game since undergoing surgery in late October to repair a dislocated left shoulder, which he injured in the practice after Portland’s season opener. Once Summers was removed from the game, McNeill was among the five defensemen rotating through shifts the rest of the game. “That’s definitely a first for me, to see a player be traded midgame like that,” he said. “We just had to keep it simple and play a smart, safe game once we got down to five.” … The announced attendance was 3,996. … The Pirates play three road games next weekend – at Albany, Lehigh Valley and Hershey – then return to Portland for consecutive games with Norfolk March 13-14.

Comments are no longer available on this story