Pirates celebrate return to port with 5-4 win over Rebels

Picton's Nolan Dawson had the game winning goal in his club's 5-4 win Thursday. (Shawna Adams)

The Picton Pirates made it a happy homecoming on Thursday night, shading the visiting Campbellford Rebels 5-4 in the club’s 2021-22 home opener.┬áThe win pushed Picton to a 2-0-0 record.

The evening was kicked off with a ceremonial puck drop featuring outgoing club treasurer Nancy Woods who was escorted to centre ice by 2013 Schmalz Cup Champ and team captain Brandon Peever.

2013 Schmalz Cup Team Captain Brandon Peever joined outgoing long time treasurer Nancy Woods for her puck drop. Also pictured are Pirates Captain Devin Morrison and Rebels Captain Benny Scarr.

“At this time, the Picton Pirates would like to take a moment to honour a dedicated and key member of the outgoing executive,” said Public Address Announcer Dennis Calnan. “For over three decades, the Woods family have been integral to the operation and success of the Picton Pirates organization.┬áThis evening, the Pirates would like to honour outgoing treasurer Nancy Woods and her efforts in making sure the Pirate ship always stayed afloat, no matter how choppy or calm the seas were that particular season by having her drop the puck on our new season.”

Formalities aside, it was the Rebs opening the scoring in the first as Benny Scarr snapped a powerplay goal past Picton starter Nolan Lane at 10:30 of the opening frame.

Picton would tie it up just over four minutes later as Brayden Adams found Landon McLellan with time and space and the Shannonville native snapped his third of the season past Cameron Hansen.

The Rebels would establish their one goal lead less than a minute later when Josh Sainthill shovelled the puck to the Picton crease on a bad angle and disc somehow squirted into the Pirates cage.

In the second, Picton scored a pair in quick succession to take a 3-2 lead.

First, Liam Lochheed was able to corral the puck on the boards and deliver it to Campbellford net where rookie Cole Stevenson was able to deflect his first of the season and first junior hockey goal at 13:03.

Then, just under 20 seconds later, McLellan pounced on a loose puck in the Rebels end to blasted home his fourth of the season to push the Pirates ahead for their first lead of the night.

The teams traded goals in the third, setting up a thrilling finish.

Cole Stevenson scored his first PJHL goal Thursday night.

Owen Dever would find the five hole with help from Noah Brant and Nick Kirby at 3:47 to extend Picton’s lead.

Just under a minute later, Nate Brant and Campbellford’s Dryden Minifie mixed it up in the corner in a spirited dust up.

At 9:47 of the frame, Lane was left to his own devices and Connor MacGregor was able to get in alone and beat the Picton goalie at 9:47 to draw the visitors back to within one.

But the Pirates picked up a key piece of insurance less than a minute later when Noah Brant and Nolan Dawson were able to successfully convert a 2-on-1 rush with the latter playing trigger man.

With Hanson lifted for an extra attacker, Ethan Slater would score with 1:12 left to make the final thrilling but Picton was able to quell any Rebel uprising to secure the 5-4 win.

In addition to Stevenson’s first goal, the game also marked the first junior win of Lane’s career.

Picton is on the road Saturday night for a game against the Port Hope Panthers.

The Pirates return to Picton on Thursday, Oct. 14 to host the Napanee Raiders.