PORTLAND — Whether they wanted to or not, the Portland Pirates made franchise history Saturday against the Albany Devils. 

It wasn’t a feat worth celebrating, though the Pirates did snap a two-game losing streak in the process. 

The Pirates set a new franchise record for the longest scoring drought at 169 minutes, 2 seconds, surpassing the old mark by a mere 12 seconds in their 2-0 victory over the Devils in front of 2,448 at Cross Insurance Arena. The old record dated back to January 2012. 

Portland (8-7) didn’t care about rewriting the record books; it just desperately wanted a win to gain some momentum going into a four-game road trip. 

“Give the guys a lot of credit for just battling,” Portland coach Ray Edwards said. “It wasn’t a pretty game by any stretch of the mind, but that’s how we had to win it tonight. We’re going to have to win some games like that for a while.” 

Alex Bolduc ended the scoring drought dating back to the second period against Lehigh Valley on Nov. 8, beating Albany goaltender Scott Clemmensen with a backhanded shot while falling to the ice to the left of the cage.

“The boys are working hard and their heads are in the right places,” Bolduc said. “We wanted to do it for the fans, especially. They’re coming out and paying money to see us play and not scoring is not very fair to them. Obviously, scoring for the players is fun, too. It was nice to get a couple tonight.” 

Bolduc snapped Clemmensen’s shutout streak at 103:32. Clemmensen, who has appeared in two games with the New Jersey Devils this season, blanked Portland on Friday. 

The second period wasn’t all positive for the Pirates. With 6:14 remaining in the frame, Albany right wing Paul Thompson barrelled into Portland starting goaltender Louis Domingue on a quality scoring chance. Thompson never took a shot and instead crashed into Domingue with a full head of steam. Domingue was helped off the ice by the training staff and replaced by Mike McKenna. 

“I’m friends with Paul, but I’ve seen him do that two or three times when he played with us in Springfield last year,” McKenna said. “He’s a habitual offender. He’s a friend of mine, but I hope we see the league do something about it because that’s not what should be happening out there.” 

Edwards had little comment on the status of Domingue, saying only that he won’t play in today’s 3:05 p.m. tilt at Providence. 

Thompson was assessed a five-minute major for goaltender interference and was ejected. The Pirates were unable to capitalize on the ensuing power play.

“I heard it, I saw it,” Bolduc said. “I’ll have to see the video of it. I was yelling at that guy and he said he was trying to stop, but I haven’t seen the video or anything. It looked bad and that’s all I’ll say on that. We said we’d win it for him and we did.” 

Domingue was credited for the win, stopping all 14 shots. McKenna preserved the shutout by making 13 saves in 26:14 of relief. He made 10 of his 13 saves in the third period while nursing a one-goal lead. 

“Physically you’re cold,” McKenna said. “I’m physically cold when I’m taking stats. My hands are cold. Just trying to get some heat into my body is the toughest thing, but mentally I’ve done this for so long it’s just like coming off the bench in practice to get into a drill. You just have to look at it like that.” 

Portland left wing Eric Selleck sealed the game with an empty-net goal with 38 seconds remaining in the third period. Selleck fired a shot from the top of the left circle that deflected off Albany’s Reece Scarlett in front and redirected into the net. It was Selleck’s first goal in a Portland uniform. 


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