LEWISTON, Maine -- Special teams caught up with the Adirondack Phantoms once again, as Portland scored two power-play goals to earn a 2-1 win Saturday night.
The Phantoms took 11 penalties on the night, resulting in nine power plays for the Pirates.
Brandon Manning’s hook early in the second period turned into Portland’s first goal, from Brandon Gormley.
Late in the same period, Adirondack took its first of two penalties for too many men on the ice and then an interference call 26 seconds later on Matt Konan. To make matters worse, Oliver Lauridsen broke his stick trying to clear the puck out early in the five-on-three power play. Michael Stone took advantage and roofed a shot past Scott Munroe.
The Phantoms had nine power plays of their own in the game. Adirondack had good looks, but goaltender Mark Visentin stood strong and the Pirates blocked a number of shots.
Finally, Adirondack got through on a five-on-three power play with 2:37 left. Jason Akeson, on the goal line to the left of the net, tried to send a centering pass to Sean Couturier, but the puck bounced off a defenseman’s stick and back to Akeson. Visentin slid over to defend a potential shot from Couturier, leaving the near side of the net open to Akeson, who put the Phantoms on the board.
Adirondack still had 1:37 of a five-on-four power play remaining, but could not score.
Adirondack is fifth in the league having played 154 shorthanded minutes and has the ninth-ranked penalty kill at 89.4 percent. But, as Terry Murray has said throughout the season, the power play can win games and the penalty kill can lose games. Saturday night the two goals allowed made the difference in the game.
The Phantoms’ power play has been inconsistent throughout much of the season. Adirondack has scored on only 15.2 percent of its power plays, 10th worst in the league.
Murray has said he would like the team to be at least scoring on about 20 percent of it’s power plays. At one point in the season, the Phantoms were at about 17 percent, but that’s the closest they have gotten to Murray’s goal.
The Phantoms are back at home on Monday when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Adirondack 0 0 1 -- 1
Portland 0 2 0 -- 2
First Period—No Scoring. Penalties—Louis, Por (boarding), 3:52; Zolnierczyk, Adk (hooking), 5:59; Rechlicz, Por (cross-checking), 8:31; Akeson, Adk (tripping), 9:02; Konan, Adk (hooking), 15:44.
Second Period—1, Portland, Gormley 3 (Stone, Klinkhammer), 1:39 (pp). 2, Portland, Stone 5 (Miele, Conner), 19:32 (pp). Penalties—Manning, Adk (hooking), 1:28; Gormley, Por (tripping), 4:52; Stone, Por (interference), 10:55; Louis, Por (boarding), 12:24; served by Testwuide, Adk (bench minor - too many men), 18:19; Konan, Adk (interference), 18:45.
Third Period—3, Adirondack, Akeson 3 (Syvret, Schenn), 17:23 (pp). Penalties—served by FitzGerald, Adk (bench minor - too many men), 3:13; Brophey, Por (tripping), 6:58; Konan, Adk (tripping), 14:16; Klinkhammer, Por (tripping), 16:52; Visentin, Por (delay of game), 17:10; Schenn, Adk (cross-checking, roughing, roughing), 19:58; Miele, Por (roughing, roughing), 19:58.
Shots on Goal—Adirondack 9-11-5-25. Portland 8-17-8-33.
Power Play Opportunities—Adirondack 1 / 9; Portland 2 / 9.
Goalies–Adirondack, Munroe 9-8-0 (33 shots-31 saves). Portland, Visentin 6-6-1 (25 shots-24 saves).
Referee—Geoff Miller (28).