Saturday, February 20, 2010

Streaking Portland steals one from Rats

The River Rats found an unusual way to lose on Friday night.
The Portland Pirates rallied with two unassisted goals in the third period, with the deciding goal coming in the final two minutes of regulation as defenseman Joe DiPenta scored from his own blue line to down Albany, 3-2 to stretch their winning streak in the American Hockey League to 10 games.
The Pirates overcame a pair of one-goal deficits, including the tying goal 2:17 into the third period as left wing Brad Larsen was credited with the tally after the puck was knocked in by Albany center Stefan Chaput.
Events turned even more bizarre as with Portland defenseman Mike Weber off for boarding, Albany goalie Justin Peters ranged out of his crease and fired the puck up ice and off the boards.
DiPenta collected the puck in and fired from the Pirates blue line — and with Peters scrambling to return to his net, the puck carried into the open goal for the game winner with 1:21 left.
Goalie Jhonas Enroth made 28 saves to record his ninth consecutive win for Portland (31-16-5-2). Peters finished with 25 saves.
Nicolas Blanchard and Jerome Samson scored for Albany (29-22-3-3), with Samson tallying at 9:41 to provide the Rats with a 2-1 advantage with his team-leading and career season-best 23rd goal.
The Rats lost left wing Jiri Tlusty to injury as he drew a kneeing penalty committed by defenseman T.J. Brennan 2:28 into the second period and did not return.
Albany hosts Adirondack at 5 today and completes its weekend at Hershey on Sunday, also at 5.


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