The Phoenix Coyotes were supposed to unveil their Pacific Division Championship banner at Jobing.com Arena tonight during the season opener against the Dallas Stars. Obviously the NHL is still locked out so no such game occurred. But, it was the season opener for another part of the Coyotes organization; the AHL affiliate Portland Pirates.
The Pirates opened on the road against the Adirondack Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Pirates had 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads in the game but could not survive a disastrous final 26 minutes where the Pirates allowed four goals. The Phantoms won the game 6-3.
Ethan Werek opened the scoring mid-way through the 1st period. The 1st period ended tied at 2 after a wild final two minutes that saw Adirondack forwards Harry Zolnierczyk and Garrett Roe score along with a score by Pirates defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Portland would score 1:14 into the 2nd period on an unassisted goal by Andy Miele. Adirondack would answer back and tie the game at 3 with a power play goal by Phoenix native Sean Couturier.
The 3rd period was all Adirondack as they scored three goals, including an empty net goal, in the final 16 minutes of the game. Tye McGinn scored the first goal and Brayden Schenn scored the final two goals to cap off the 6-3 win by the Phantoms.
Free Agent Signee, Chad (don’t call me Ocho Cinco) Johnson got the start in the net for the Pirates and allowed five goals on 46 shots (.891 SV %). Miele led the Pirates with two points. In his first professional game, former 1st round pick Brandon Gormley did not record a point or shot but led the team with a +2 rating.