WILKES-BARRE, PA. (NEWS CENTER) - The Portland Pirates overcame a 3 goal, first period deficit, but couldn't take the lead and fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday night.
The Pirates applied the pressure in the first half of the first period, outshooting the Pens 12-2 in the first ten minutes, but the Pens would get the scoring started. Riley Holzapfel scored the first Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goal at 13:08 in the period before Trevor Smith took over the Penguin's offense. Smith's first goal of the period, just 1:23 after Hozapfel's goal, gave the Pens a two goal advantage. Smith then capitalized on a 4 on 4 situation with an unassisted goal 17:24 into the first, giving the Penguins a 3 goal advantage on his second goal of the season. All three Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goals came during a period of 14 unanswered shots by the Penguins, a string broken up when Evan Brophey's breakout opportunity was stopped on a great save by Brad Thiessen.
The Pirates would claw their way back in the second, using a power play to get on the board. Brandon Gormley scored his first Pirates goal just 2:10 into the second period to get Portland in the board. Just over ten minutes later, he helped the Pirates get another one, setting up fellow rooking Chris Brown at the 12:30 mark. Brown's goal, his 4th on the year, was his 3rd goal in as many games, and brought Portland within one headed into the 2nd intermission.
In the third, Alexandre Bolduc would put the pirates ahead off a wild exchange, with Mark Visentin standing on his head to give the Pirates the scoring opportunity. Bolduc's goal at 3:39 in the third was his 7th of the season, and was the only scoring of the third, as both teams couldn't prevent overtime.
In the OT period, Portland pressed and press, dominating the period, but Theissen was just too strong for the Penguins, and sent the game to a shootout - the Pirates' first shootout for the season.
In the shootout, the Penguins scored twice on goaltender Mark Visentin, with Benn Ferriero getting the game winner in the second round and Eric Tangradi ending it in the fourth. It was Visentin's first professional shootout.
Visentin took the shootout loss for the Pirates, falling to 1-1-0-1 on the season, while Brad Theissen picked up the victory for the Penguins after stopping 36 of the 39 shots he faced. Visentin stopped 38 of 41 shots in the loss.