Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates get first home win of 2014 in feisty contest

Pirates' defenseman Connor Murphy and Phantoms' Tye McGinn fight during Sunday's game. Both teams combined for 304 penalty minutes, setting a new franchise record. (PHOTO: Ron Morin)

Pirates’ defenseman Connor Murphy and Phantoms’ Tye McGinn fight during Sunday’s game. Both teams combined for 304 penalty minutes, setting a new franchise record. (PHOTO: Ron Morin)

LEWISTON – It was a tale of two teams going in the same direction.

That direction was the wrong way.

The Adirondack Phantoms had lost five in a row coming into this game, and had gone 2-7-0-1 in their last 10. The Portland Pirates had won two of their last four, but had gone 3-5-1-1 over the last 10 and had lost eight in a row at home.

The Pirates were the club to take advantage of their power plays to power to a 2-0 victory over the Phantoms in front of 2,251 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

It was the Pirates first home ice victory in 2014; their last home win was against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on December 31st.

The teams skated to a 0-0 tie going into the third period. Both had some chances on the power play and even strength with the Pirates getting some very good looks on the power play through the first forty minutes. Cal Heeter was there to keep the puck from crossing the goal line and denying the Pirates man advantage.

“The power play in the first and second, even though we didn’t score, we got a lot of chances,” said Head Coach Ray Edwards. “We told them to kind of just stick with it because we hoped that we’d find a way to get one in and sure enough, in the third, we were able to stay with it and get a couple.”

Chris Brown opened the scoring on the power play just 1:54 into the third period. He was camped out in front of Heeter as Brandon Gormley took a shot from the point. Heeter made the initial save, but Brown was there to slip the rebound past Heeter for the 1-0 lead. Daine Todd was credited with the secondary assist.

Brendan Shinnimin returned to the line up after battling a couple of upper body injuries that took some time to heal. His last game in the line up was the last home victory for the Pirates on New Year’s Eve.

He made his presence known.

While on the power play, Jordan Martinook took a shot from the point that Heeter stopped. Shinnimin had a couple whacks at the rebound from the right of the net and finally potted the insurance goal at 13:07. Connor Murphy picked up the secondary assist on the 2-0 goal.

“It’s been a long time since New Year’s Eve and it was a long road,” said Shinnimin. “But I’m excited to get back and, fortunately, I was able to help the team out.”

The Pirates held the 2-0 lead into the waning seconds of the game and were looking to get that elusive win at home when things escalated quickly.

The Phantoms had pulled Heeter in favor of an extra skater with about 30 seconds remaining in the game to try to break the barrier that Louis Domingue had put up between them and the goal line.

Not long after that a line brawl erupted. Glove and sticks littered the ice as Adirondack tried to get one victory under their belts before the horn.

Domingue ended up getting into the middle of a confrontation, when Heeter decided to come off the bench to engage in the not often seen goalie fight. Both goalies had to exit the game after the fight, and Domingue lost sole possession of the shut out.

Another fight broke out during the following shift, and things quieted down for the final 18 seconds.

Both teams amassed 242 penalty minutes over the final 22 seconds and racked up 304 over the course of the game. That set a new combined record in penalty minutes for the Pirates, breaking the previous record of 273 set back on 11/25/06 against the Providence Bruins.

The Pirates are looking to take the momentum from the two victories over the Phantoms and keep the ball rolling.

“We’re a dangerous team, any team is dangerous when they’re hungry,” said Chris Summers. “We’re fine tuning the details and it’s evident in practice and hopefully it will show up in the games.”