Apparently the ship isn’t quite right just yet.
One game after snapping a losing streak with a decisive victory in Binghamton, the Portland Pirates managed only 13 shots on goal and watched a tie game turn into a rout in the third period as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton skated off with a 5-1 victory on Friday night.
The Pirates’ loss drops the team to 17-20-2-7 on the season. Their 43 points ties them for 12th in the Eastern Conference with Syracuse and Bridgeport.
The game was a rematch of a Pirates’ home game on Jan. 18, a 4-2 win for the Penguins.
Friday’s game was a tale of thirds for Portland. Despite being outshot considerably through two periods, the Pirates hung around and stayed even with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Carter Rowney netted the first goal of the game for the home team in the first frame, at 19:19. But a shorthanded effort from
Jordan Martinook on a feed from Brett Hextall later in the second evened the score at 1-1.
In the third period, the Pirates fell apart. The Penguins scored on what was left of a power play carried over from the second, just 20 seconds into the final frame. They added another, at 1:10, on their second shot of the period. Andrew Ebbett, responsible for the go-ahead tally, made it 3-for-3 on third period shots for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 3:53, and Tom Kostopoulos netted the dagger at 8:47 of the third on the power play.
The Pirates will have no time to rest, either. The team travels to Hershey on Saturday for a 7 p.m. showdown against the ninth-place Bears, the first meeting between these teams this season.
Hershey features a few former Portland skaters, including Derek Whitmore, Joel Rechlicz and David Leggio.
After that game, the Pirates — and the rest of the league — will take a break for the league’s All-Star game, to be held this year in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Portland returns to action Friday, Feb. 14, at Adirondack.