Portland, ME, December 31, 2014 – A second-period power-play goal by Brendan Shinnimin stood up as the game-winner Wednesday night at the Cross Insurance Arena, in a 3-1 victory by the Portland Pirates over the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Chris Bourque scored the only Wolf Pack goal, increasing his team-leading total to 13, and Mackenzie Skapski made 27 saves, but Eric Selleck also scored for Portland, Lucas Lessio added an empty-net goal, and Andrew Campbell assisted on all three Pirate scores.
Mike McKenna stopped 22 out of 23 shots in the Portland net, handing the Wolf Pack (17-11-2-2, 38 pts.) only its second regulation loss in the last ten games (6-2-0-2).
“Through the first two periods we only had 13 shots,” Bourque said. “We had a lot of (offensive) zone time, but not too many shots at the net. You’re not going to score too many goals when you don’t have many shot attempts. In the third I thought we did a better job of getting the puck towards the net, and we’ve just got to keep on working on doing the ‘dirty’ things, little things that add up to goals.”
After a scoreless first period, Portland would build a 2-1 lead in a second period in which they outshot the Wolf Pack 13-8.
Selleck gave the Pirates the game’s first lead at 7:34, converting on a two-on-one with Campbell. Corey Trivino started the play, and Skapski got a piece of Selleck’s shot from the left circle, but could not keep it out of the net.
The Wolf Pack answered back only 1:44 later, at 9:18, as Bourque broke over the blue line and headed up the slot, beating McKenna to the stick side with a shot from about 35 feet out.
“I just put the puck toward the net,” Bourque said of the goal, which ended a five-game drought without a point for the Wolf Pack’s leading scorer (13-14-27). “It was good location, and luckily it went in.”
The Portland power play capitalized at 11:57 to put the Pirates on top to stay, with Tommy Hughes in the penalty box for slashing. Shinnimin capped furious Portland pressure by rapping a shot through Skapski from the right circle, for the eventual game-winner.
The third frame was a standoff, with shots even at ten apiece, and the Wolf Pack’s comeback effort was hampered by a hooking penalty called against Mat Bodie with 1:43 left. Hartford pulled Skapski while shorthanded and had some decent pressure, but Lessio was credited with an open-net goal at 19:55, when Conor Allen broke Lessio’s stick with a slash, after Lessio had stepped past the Wolf Pack defenseman.
The next action for the Wolf Pack is back home at the XL Center this Friday, January 2, with the St. John’s IceCaps visiting for a 7:00 game. All Friday-night Wolf Pack home games feature $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period.
Tickets for all 2014-15 Wolf Pack home games are now on sale at the XL Center ticket office, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Wolf Pack tickets start as low as $12 for youth 12 years old or younger.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.
Hartford Wolf Pack 1 at Portland Pirates 3
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 – Cross Insurance Arena
Hartford 0 1 0 – 1
Portland 0 2 1 – 3
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-O’Donoghue Por (interference), 3:07; Crabb Hfd (roughing), 7:15; Szwarz Por (roughing), 7:15; Oberg Por (tripping), 13:32; Spinell Hfd (tripping), 19:00.
2nd Period-1, Portland, Selleck 4 (Campbell, Trivino), 7:34. 2, Hartford, C. Bourque 13 (Hrivik), 9:18. 3, Portland, Shinnimin 6 (Campbell, Oberg), 11:57 (PP). Penalties-Hughes Hfd (slashing), 10:19; Bodie Hfd (slashing), 18:24.
3rd Period-4, Portland, Lessio 8 (Campbell, McKenna), 19:55 (PP EN). Penalties-H. Samuelsson Por (interference), 1:35; Kristo Hfd (roughing), 15:37; Campbell Por (roughing), 15:37; Bodie Hfd (hooking), 18:17.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 5-8-10-23. Portland 7-13-10-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 0 / 3; Portland 2 / 4.
Goalies-Hartford, Skapski 7-6-1 (29 shots-27 saves). Portland, McKenna 12-12-0 (23 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Michael Mullen (18).
Linesmen-Joe Andrews (32), Jack Millea (23).