Baumgartner, Gamble scuttle Pirates

Falher Pirates forward Kris Desjarlais bears down on Manning Comets’ defenceman Michaeal Gillen during action in Falher Dec. 7.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Eight days ago the Falher Pirates embarrassed the visiting Manning Comets by handing them a 13-2 beat down.

You just had the feeling that goaltender Braden Gamble and company would put in a much better effort when they visited the Falher Arena Dec. 7.

That they did as Gamble, who was shelled for seven goals in only one period on Nov. 29, stopped 44 of 46 shots to lead the Comets to a surprising 4-2 win over the Pirates.

The win halted the Pirates’ three-game winning streak after starting the season with four straight losses.

The game looked to be in hand for the Pirates in the second period. After a scoreless first period, Trevor Tokarz whizzed the puck past Gamble at 1:55 to open the scoring. It only took 11 seconds for Hector Lamouche to make it 2-0 and the Pirates looked to be on their way to their fourth straight win.

But the hockey gods took a turn for the worse. Morgan MacLean ripped one off the iron that had Gamble beat easily and the Pirates would have been up 3-0. But off the iron it went and the Comets scurried up the ice to score seconds later and the tide had turned. Brendan Baumgartner scored the goal.

Lady Luck was on the Comets’ side again at the end of the period as Baumgartner scored with one second left on a breakaway and the game was tied.

In the third, Brett Nicklason scored the game-winner at 2:36. Michel Gillen picked up the puck after a horrible turnover at the blueline and fed it to Nicklason, who slid the puck between the legs of Pirates’ goaltender Ty Gullickson. It was a bad break for Gullickson, who made several fine saves before letting one in he would surely like another chance on. He stopped 27 of 31 shots.

Josh Rutherford added an insurance goal with 4:52 remaining and the Comets rode the back of Gamble the rest of the way to seal the win.

Neither team scored a power play goal in the game as the Comets were blanked on three chances, the Pirates five. The Comets have only one PPG this year.

The Comets took 12 penalties in minutes to the Pirates eight. In a rare stat among the long-time bitter rivals, neither team took a stick foul penalty, despite the fact many good hits were given out during the game, which was far from a no-hitter.

The Pirates are at Grimshaw Dec. 12 to play the Huskies and return home for a pre-Christmas doubleheader. They play the Comets again at home Dec. 20 and the Huskies Dec. 21. Game time is 8:30 p.m.

Comets 4 at Pirates 2
Saturday, Dec. 7

First period
No scoring.
Penalty: Jake Hallderman MAN (interference) 15:14.

Second period

  1. FAL, Trevor Tokarz 7 (Kris Desjarlais) 1:55
  2. FAL Hector Lamouche 1 (Jacob Anderson, Isaiah Letendre) 2:06
  3. MAN, Brendan Baumgartner 3 (Layne McLean, Josh Rutherford) 18:46
  4. MAN, Brendan Baumgartner 4 (Michael Gillen, Mark Simpson) 19:59
    Penalties: Hector Lamouche FAL (hooking) 11:47, Walker Cote FAL (kneeing) 19:15, Tyler Dillman MAN (unsportsmanlike) 19:41.

Third period

  1. MAN, Brett Nicklason 1 (Michael Gillen) 2:36
  2. MAN, Josh Rutherford 9 (Dave Lawrence) 15:08
    Penalties: Thomas Simpson MAN (interference) 3:55, Payton Proskurniak MAN (hooking) 11:51, Jesse Pedersen MAN (double roughing) and J.M. St.-Pierre FAL (roughing) 18:45.

Shots on goal:
Manning 8 14 9 -31
Falher 12 16 18 -46
Goaltenders: Comets, Braden Gamble; Pirates, Ty Gullickson.
Power Plays: MAN 0-3; FAL 0-5.
Penalties in Minutes: MAN 12; FAL 8.

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