Pirates fall 3-2 in overtime to Falcons
Lawson Crouse and Juho Lammikko make their pro debuts in tough road loss
Dakota Mermis scored 29 seconds into overtime to give the host Springfield Falcons a 3-2 win over the Portland Pirates.
With one game left in the regular season, the Pirates know they will open the Calder Cup playoffs on the road, but don't know where yet. It will be Toronto, Hershey or Albany, with Toronto being the least desired destination of the three.
Christian Fischer, a Windsor Spitfire finishing the season out with the Falcons, opened the scoring with his first AHL goal at 7:28 of the first period. Brendan Shinnimin and Craig Cunningham drew the assists on the power-play marker.
Wade Megan (14) added to his league-leading shorthanded goal total (now at 7) at the 3:36 mark of the second period. John McFarland collected the only helper on the play.
At 10:46, the Pirates took the lead when defenseman MacKenzie Weegar (7) lit the lamp with the assists going to Rihards Bukarts and Cameron Gaunce. The point was Bukarts' first in the AHL.
Fischer, who was drafted in the second round in 2015 by the Arizona Coyotes, notched his second power-play goal of the night at 9:46 of the final frame to even the tilt at two, eventually necessitating overtime.
Sam Brittain took the loss, finishing with 24 saves. Adin Hill turned away 27 of the 29 shots he faced for the Falcons.
Florida Panthers prospects Lawson Crouse and Juho Lammikko made their professional debuts for the Pirates. Both forwards finished with a +1 rating, with Crouse registering two shots on goal and Lammikko one.
Portland (40-27-6-2) will play in Springfield again today, with puck drop at 5 pm.