ALBANY, N.Y. – Chad Wiseman had a shootout goal and a pair of assists, but the Albany Devils lost to the Portland Pirates, 3-2, to close the doors on the home schedule. Derek Whitmore registered the game-deciding goal as the last shooter in the breakaway session.
“It would have been nice to get two [points]” said head coach Rick Kowalsky. ”We got away from our game in the second, but we scored late and I thought we had a solid third. We had chances to win it, but it didn’t happen.”
The Devils finished their home schedule with a 6-1-0-1 showing in their final eight games at the Times Union Center. The team is now 32-41-1-5 for the entire season. The Pirates clinched first place in the Atlantic Division with a 47-24-6-2 mark.
“We battled for 60 minutes,” Wiseman said. “We didn’t get too many breaks on the power play – we didn’t get too many calls. You know what, we have a young team; we have a lot of college kids up. It’s a learning experience for a lot of guys, so I thought it was a real positive game for us.”
Matt Anderson and Mike Hoeffel scored the goals for Albany, while Travis Turnbull and Paul Byron scored for Portland.
Nine seconds into a power play and 26 ticks into the game, Anderson cashed in on a rebound from below the left circle. Nathan Perkovich fired a shot from the point; John Muse was there for the save, but the puck bounced to his right for Anderson to register his 23rd goal. Chad Wiseman was credited with the second assist.
Just over 11 minutes later, Travis Turnbull evened the score with a bizarre play from just outside Portland’s offensive zone. His shot took a generous bounce 12 feet in front of the net and sailed over the shoulder of Mike McKenna.
Portland took the lead when Paul Byron netted his 26th goal of the season by way of penalty shot at 6:11 of the second period.
The Devils answered before the intermission with the help of a hooking call with minute left. Hoeffel buried a shot from the left slot with just 8.9 seconds remaining. Wiseman picked up his second point with the loan assist. He is now only three points away from reaching the 400-point plateau.
In the shootout, Wiseman scored first in the second round, but Byron and Whitmore beat McKenna in the fourth and fifth round.
McKenna finished with 23 saves on 25 tries in his 40th appearance – the third most games of his AHL career. At the other end, John Muse, who was playing in his first professional game, had 33 stops on 35 shots.
The Devils conclude the season with a 3 p.m. contest at Bridgeport on Sunday. The game can be heard on 104.5 FM “The Team” ESPN Radio or online at AHLLive.com.