GLENS FALLS -- Michael Leighton skated toward the blue line and heaved the rolled up T-shirt he'd been given as the game's second star deep into the Civic Center stands.
It was the toss of a frustrated man.
If the last two games ended in punches to the gut, then this 2-1 defeat to the Portland Pirates on Friday was something even worse for the Adirondack Phantoms. For the third straight time they lost in the final minute, and it was hard to imagine a more disheartening end.
The Phantoms gave up a shorthanded two-on-one breakaway that Ethan Werek turned into the go-ahead goal with 19.2 seconds remaining.
"When you score one goal ... things get magnified even more so," Phantoms coach Joe Paterson said. "You can't make little mistakes until you're scoring more goals. You have to play a perfect type of game."
Things broke down quickly after Denis Hamel drew a power play with 37 seconds remaining.
Off the ensuing draw, Hamel took a shot that was blocked by Dean Arsene and kicked out high in the zone, creating a two-on-one.
Phantoms defenseman Brandon Manning, the lone player back, thought help was coming in the form of a streaking Hamel, but it never got there.
Matt Watkins slid the puck late to Werek, who connected on the backhand.
"You can't give up that kind of scoring chance, especially late, when you're within a point of moving on and then perhaps in overtime you have a chance to win it," Paterson said.
The goal was Werek's first as a professional.
Adirondack lost 1-0 in Hamilton on Tuesday, allowing a goal with 45 seconds left in overtime. Last Saturday, they fell 2-1 to Norfolk on a goal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation.
Leighton made 35 saves. He's allowed just five goals over the last three games, but the Phantoms are 0-3 as they've only scored two of their own during that span.
Cullen Eddy's goal early in the third period, which tied the game at one, broke a 140-minute scoring drought for the Phantoms.
"Sometimes you think you should simplify it," Paterson said. "I remember seeing some shots where we put the puck right over the net, too. We had some misses. It doesn't count as a shot on net, you don't get a rebound off of it."
Loose pucks: Johan Backlund dressed as the backup goaltender as Jason Bacashihua was out with a minor issue. .... Forward Andrew Rowe made his season debut for the Phantoms. Luke Pither was out of the lineup.
Portland (11-10-1-1) 0 1 1 - 2
Adirondack (13-9-1-1) 0 0 1 - 1
First period - None. Penalties - Kalinski, Adk (holding), 1:30.
Second period - 1, Portland, Trotter 4 (Summers), 2:15. Penalties - Duncan, Por (hooking), 10:16.
Third period - 2, Adirondack, Eddy 1 (Harper, Sestito), 0:47; 3, Portland, Werek 1 (Watkins, Arsene), 19:40 (sh). Penalties - Duncan, Por (hooking), 9:14; Trotter, Por (hooking), 13:23; Hollweg Por (high-sticking), 19:23.
Shots on goal - Portland 18-12-7--37; Adirondack 9-9-6--24.
Power-play opportunities - Portland 0/1; Adirondack 0/4.
Goalies - Portland, McElhinney 7-9-0 (24 shots-23 saves); Adirondack, Leighton 10-8-0 (37 shots-35 saves).
Referee - Brown. A - 2,792.