Pirates downed by Jets, Panthers as second place lead narrows

HELD UP- Picton Pirate forward Noah Brant tries to fight through the check of Port Hope Panther defenceman Braydon Crowe. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)


The Picton Pirates will be looking to to ring in the new year right and put the brakes on a four game slide when they host the Clarington Eagles Thursday.

Picton’s record took a hit as they closed out 2018 by getting blanked 6-0 on Dec. 23 in Amherstview and dropping a 3-1 decision in Port Hope in Cobourg on Dec. 29.

Picton now stands at 19-11-1 and will try for their twentieth win for the fifth time Thursday when the Eagles fly into Huff Estates Arena for a 7:30 p.m. Puck drop.

After a scoreless first in the first of two games celebrating junior hockey day in Northumberland County, the Panthers’ Brandon Weeks would beat Picton starter Brennan Bush just 33 seconds into the second to open the scoring.

Pirates forward Landon McLellan would tie it up, converting a Will Harrison feed at 8:10 to even the score at 1-1.

But the Panthers, with just seven shots in the period, managed a powerplay goal off the stick of Tyler Thompson to push Port Hope ahead to stay at 2-1.

Picton would control the contest in the third and out shot the Panthers 12-4 but an empty net goal from Corey Saman inside the final minute salted the game away for the Port Hope side.

In the other junior hockey contest, the host Cobourg Cougars shaded the Whitby Fury 3-2.

On Dec. 23, Picton would outshoot the Jets 37-33 but the story of the game was Jets rookie netmider Andrew Lumb.

The Kingston native robbed Picton shooters time and again as his squad whitewashed the visitors 6-0.

Cody Smith had a hat trick for the Jets who now trail Picton by only a point in the Tod Division standings of the Provincial Junior Hockey League and have a game in hand.

After hosting the Eagles, Picton will travel to Campbellford on Saturday night before playing another four point contest against the Jets in Amherstview on Sunday.