A night after they skated off the ice 4-3 winners in a full, 60 minute effort against the visiting Amherstview Jets, the Picton Pirates nearly engineered an upset against the Tod Division-leading Cats Friday at the Jack Burger Sports Complex.
Pirates overage forward Garrison Moore scored his first PJHL goal since the 20219-20 season at the midway point of the first period , collecting a Parker Mattis feed and beating Panthers starter Dominic Marquis. A Belleville native, Mr. Moore left the club to attend post -secondary studies in the fall of 2020 but has returned to the Picton lineup after three seasons out of hockey.
The fatigued Pirates were without defender Jakob DaCosta and top scoring defenceman Rheydan McCoy and were forced to go back to Nic McGrayne in back-to-back assignments as his goaltending parter Ethan Schwarz suffered a forearm laceration and will be out for one-to-two weeks.
Shorthanded and weary from an emotional win the night prior, the Picton goalie was sensational in trying to make a 1-0 lead standup against the high-flying Panthers. Picton would be outshot 38-13 through the opening 40 minutes and lead or were tied with Port Hope for most of it.
Dallen Fousek would solve Mr. McGrayne in the fourth minute of the second period but the Pirates continued to hang in and keep the contest close. Even when Brandon Rose would give Port Hope its first lead of the contest at 16:45, Picton was still very much in the contest.
The back breaker for the Pirates came in the final minute of the second though as Noah Richard scored to make it 3-1 for the hosts.
Mr. Fousek would double down early in the third to make it 4-1 but Mr. McGrayne was the star for the Picton, making 47 saves and keeping the game as close as it was.
A night earlier, the Picton goaltender was solid and did receive some offensive help in a home win over the visiting Jets.
Amherstview would open the scoring with a Thomas Elkins effort off the cross bar at 12:43 but just 26 seconds later, Pirates pivot Kirk Stevenson would collect a bouncing puck behind the visitors net and slide it past Jets starter Marc-Olivier Robert.
Tied at 1-1 into the second, Picton would push ahead as Mr. Mattis snapped home his seventh of the year on the power play at 6:17. just over six minutes later, Ian Harrison would set up rookie Reese Kleinsteuber along the goal line and the Wellington native went top bunk over Mr Robert to make it 3-1,
The Jets would make a game of it when Nolan Fox would score at the 4:21 mark of the third to make it 3-2 but Mr Harrison would take the puck below the goal line at the 8:59 mark. A intercepted pass would go off a Jet stick and behind Mr. Robert for the eventual game winner as the Jets scored a goal with two seconds left in the game.
The Pirates hosts Frankford on Thursday and the Jets make a return trip to Picton Nov. 30.