Pirates suffered the massive disappointment of losing in overtime after a thriller of a game had finished 4-4 in the regulation sixty minutes.
In a tight opening session, neither side was able to find their way to the net, although the home side came closest to doing so as they twice struck the post in the space of thirty seconds, thus resulting in a blank scoreline at the end of twenty minutes.
The second period began with a bang, as Pirates took the lead after only 26 seconds, Thorp bundling the puck over the line for the opener. Within four minutes it was 2-0, as Henderson and Thorp combined with Abercrombie to give the latter a straightforward job to beat Maliinson and double the advantage. Back came the Tigers, however, as first McLeod and then McIntosh pulled the visitors right back into the game at 2-2 by the second break, setting up a nail biter for the final twenty minutes.
Both teams set out for the go ahead goal in the final session but Pirates were continuing to incur the wrath of referee Elliott and were obliged to kill off a number of penalties as they had done throughout the game, which broke their momentum at crucial periods. They suffered a heavy blow after 44 minutes when player/coach Walker took no less than 14 minutes in penalties after querying a call made by the official, but they still managed to take the lead after 50 minutes as Blair smashed a shot beyond Mallinson for 3-2. Tigers were level again through a powerplay goal from Paul Henderson within two minutes, but half a minute later Pirates were in front again through Wallace. With 20 seconds to go Tigers pulled Mallinson for the extra skater and the move paid immediate dividends as Guilcher scored straight from a face off to tie the scores again.
With the match going into 3 on 3 sudden death overtime, Tigers got the crucial winner, after another disputed call, to send them home with the extra point.
Head Coach Ian Turley said after the game, “I very rarely comment on referees as they have a difficult job but tonight I felt we suffered from big calls which were either not made, or went against us. When you’re playing 3 on 3 and you don’t get a call for a clear penalty it can leave you out of position and that cost us dear tonight. I thought we played better than in the last few weeks and the crowd certainly made a difference as the noise level was noticeably louder.”
Pirates next home match is against Solway Sharks this Sunday at Braehead Arena, face off 4.30pm.