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GHOST PIRATES PULL OUT SHOOTOUT WIN IN ORLANDO

Wednesday, April 3rd
GHOST PIRATES PULL OUT SHOOTOUT WIN IN ORLANDO

BY: Cristiano Simonetta, Catherine Morrison

ORLANDO, Fla. — Michael Bullion made 37 saves as the Savannah Ghost Pirates (27-32-6-1) secured a 3-2 shootout win over the Orlando Solar Bears (32-24-6-3) on Tuesday night at Kia Center.

Carter Long scored his sixth goal of the season under two minutes into the game, ripping a wrist shot from the deep slot past the glove side of Solar Bears goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick. Long’s goal marked his fourth point in as many games; Keltie Jeri-Leon and Jordan Kaplan picked up the assists.

Matt Boudens doubled Savannah’s lead at 8:31, finishing off a splendid saucer pass from Kyle Jeffers on a 2-on-1 opportunity. Boudens dragged the puck from his forehand to his backhand past the outstretched left leg of Fitzpatrick for his fifth goal of the season. The Ghost Pirates captain has six points over his past six appearances. Anthony Collins collected the secondary assist on the play and has four helpers in his last four games.

Savannah outshot Orlando 14-6 in the first period.

The Ghost Pirates kept the Solar Bears at bay for most of the middle frame, but Kurt Gosselin broke through with his fourth goal of the year at 19:07, thwarting Bullion’s shutout bid. The goal ended Bullion’s shutout streak of 144:25, extending back to Blake Bennett’s first-period tally against Bullion in Rapid City on March 2.

Orlando punched back in the second, firing 15 shots on net and only surrendering seven.

Aaron Luchuk tied the game 56 seconds into the third period with his 20th goal of the season off a pass from Darik Angeli. Angeli registered the primary assist while skating in his 500th professional game (and 450th ECHL outing).

Luchuk’s goal came on the power play after Savannah had killed off 20 consecutive power plays over their last four-plus games.

Both teams had chances to take the lead before the end of regulation, but the game required overtime. Luchuk thought he ended the game 2:16 into the extra session, but the goal was disallowed due to goaltender interference. The shootout was needed to deliver a verdict.

Brent Pedersen and Jesse Jacques both failed to score in the first round. Logan Drevitch delivered a goal in the top of the second round, out-waiting Fitzpatrick before moving to his forehand and potting the puck into the empty net. Alex Frye was denied by Bullion’s glove in the bottom of the second round.

Simon Pinard had the puck roll on him in the third round; Angeli needed to score to keep the game alive, but missed the net wide with his chance, stamping the win for Savannah. The Ghost Pirates improved to 3-1 in the shootout this season and 8-2 in franchise history.

Bullion made 37 saves in overtime and stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout. The Anchorage, AK, native is 4-0 in his last four games with a 1.50 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage.

Savannah went 0-for-2 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill. With the victory, the Ghost Pirates extended their point streak to four games (3-0-1).

The South Carolina Stingrays visit Enmarket Arena on Thursday, April 4 at 7 p.m. For more information, go to GhostPiratesHockey.com!

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