McKegg’s Hat Trick Sinks Devils

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PORTLAND, ME — Despite jumping out to an early lead, the Albany Devils lost, 4-2, against the Portland Pirates Friday at Cross Insurance Arena. The Pirates (3-1-0-0) netted four unanswered goals en route to their third consecutive victory. The Devils (1-2-1-0) had their two-game point streak halted.

Paul Thompson, who set a franchise record with 33 goals in 2014-15, netted his first goal of the season and rookie Blake Pietila scored for the second straight game. Netminder Doug Carr, who signed a PTO on Oct. 7, made his Albany debut. He made 23 stops.

Portland’s Greg McKegg led all scorers with three goals; John McFarland also found the back of the net. Former Devil Mike McKenna registered his second win of the season, making 26 saves.

Albany, which has scored first in three of its four games, continued the trend when Thompson cleaned up a rebound in front at 8:10 of the opening frame. Jim O’Brien and Vojtech Mozik provided the assists.

Before the end of the period, Pietila blocked a shot and converted a breakaway attempt at 19:15.

Portland’s scoring started off McFarland’s stick at 12:05 of the second period. McKegg followed at 15:14 of the second and again at 0:28 of the final period. He capped his hat trick with an empty-net, power-play goal at 19:14.

The two teams will meet again for the Devils’ Home Opener Saturday at Times Union Center. The first 5,000 fans to arrive for the 5:05 pm outing will receive a free Devils magnet schedule, courtesy of CDTA.

• Game Notes

Albany owned a 28-27 shot advantage … Dan Kelly played in his 300th career AHL game … Vojtech Mozik registered his first career point … Reid Boucher made his season debut; he was on a line with Joseph Blandisi and Mike SisloBlake Pietila scored his second goal of the season and second in as many games … Midway through the third, Corey Troppappeared to have tied the game on a power play, but the officials determined Mike McKenna was pushed into the net, discounting the goal … The Devils failed to score a power-play goal for the first time this season.