Panthers pounce on Pirates to sweep weekend set

(At right) Owen Dever has 10 goals to lead Picton scoring. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

Undisciplined play and a suspect goal or two was the undoing of the Picton Pirates this weekend as the locals allowed the Port Hope Panthers to capture all four points in a home and home set.

Picton started both games relatively well, holding a two goal lead into the second period of each game however both contests ended with the Pirates trying in vain to tie the contest up in the final minute.

“I wasn’t a pretty weekend for us and I’m disappointed in a number of things but our discipline needs to be better overall,” Pirates General Manager Jason Parks said. “Sometimes you’re going to get penalties that are unfair but the hallmark of a good team is being able to role with those setbacks, not be undone by them.”

On Saturday in Port Hope, Picton played the Panthers to a 0-0 draw through 20 minutes and took control early in the second frame. County Kings AP Ben Smith started a scoring rush from his own zone that was set up by Devin Morrison and finished off with a Nate Boomhhower snap shot that beat Port Hope’s Sam Dingle at 2:44 Halfway through the frame Landon MacLellan set up Noah Brant off the draw to Dingle’s right and Picton had a 2-0 lead. But Port Hope would tie it when Nathan Ford shovelled the puck through starter Tyler Hayes’ legs at 13:31.

Picton nearly escaped with a lead through 40 minutes but at 19:36, Nolan Stevenson was able to find the back of the net from the corner to make it 2-2. In the third, Morrison took a penalty behind his team’s net that led to Stevenson’s second of the contest at 8:22. Port Hope’s Carter Clarke would slide loose puck into a vacated Picton cage with a second left to make the final 4-2 Panthers.

On Thursday in Picton, Smith potted his first PJHL goal in the early going, tipping a Hunter Mytheese shot past Dingle at 2:49. Under a minute later, Owen Dever picked up his ninth of the season curtesy of Dingle misplay behind the net and Picton led 2-0 after 20. The second was all Panthers as the Cats put four goals past Pirates starter Nolan Lane with Clarke playing trigger man on two of the volleys.

In the third, Dever would score his 10th of the season to close the gap but the Pirates were denied an equalizer in the late going. Picton is at home tonight against Campbellford and then travels to Napanee on Friday to play the Tod Division leading Raiders.

“We need to be better in a lot of areas but we need some key stops and we need to stop compounding our troubles when a call doesn’t go our way,” Parks added.