March 30, 2008 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Albany River Rats
PORTLAND, ME - Jason King and Tyler Bouck each scored second period power play goals as the Portland Pirates shutout the Albany River Rats 2-0 Sunday afternoon at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Having lost four straight games, the Pirates stormed out of the gates in the first period looking to reclaim the form that put them into a battle for second place in the Atlantic Division. Portland rattled off 13 shots on Albany goaltender Michael Leighton in the period, but could not get anything past the All-Star. After starting slowly and managing sparse offensive zone possessions, the River Rats surged in the final five minutes to get four shots on Pirates goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin.
The Pirates used their special teams to take the lead in the second period. Jason King opened the scoring a 3:40 of the second, tipping a Brian Salcido shot past Michael Leighton for a power play goal and a 1-0 lead. Portland doubled their lead at 7:29 with another power play goal, this time from captain Tyler Bouck. Andrew Ebbett fired a hard wrist shot from a sharp angle and the rebound kicked into the slot right on the stick of Bouck, who had an empty net tap in for a 2-0 advantage. Albany\'s best chance in the second period came on a turnover by Aubin. Jamie Johnson picked off a clearing attempt from the Portland goaltender and fed Pat Dwyer all alone at the far post, but Aubin recovered to make a sprawling save. Rookie Brandon Sutter, making his pro hockey debut, nearly scored on his first AHL shot, when his short-handed snap shot buzzed just wide of the left post midway through the period.
Albany shuffled their lines in the third period and came out with a lot of energy to start the third period, but Aubin rose to the occasion and turned aside the Rats offense. The River Rats pulled Leighton for the final two minutes of the period, but time ran out on Albany, who could not find a way to beat the Pirates goaltender.
Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 25 saves to record the shutout win in goal for Portland, helping them improve to 43-26-2-4 on the season. Michael Leighton made 24 saves on 26 shots in the loss for Albany, who fell to 40-27-3-4. Portland was 2-for-4 on the power play, while the River Rats ended the game 0-for-5.
The River Rats continue their stretch of seven straight road games on Wednesday, April 2nd against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Wachovia Arena. Albany\'s next home game is on Wednesday, April 9th against the Norfolk Admirals; a 7:00 pm face off at the Times Union Center.