WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 4, PORTLAND 3 (OT)
Connor James lit the lamp just 20 seconds into overtime as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton completed a comeback from three goals down to take a 4-3 win over Portland on Friday in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Wachovia Arena.
The teams played a scoreless first period for the fourth time in six games this series, but Portland’s offense came to life late in the middle stanza.
Ebbett scored again with just 33 seconds remaining in the period to make it 3-0, but the Penguins’ James then tallied a huge goal with only 11.6 ticks left before intermission, putting his club on the board.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton picked up on that momentum in the third period, and Chris Minard notched a pair of goals to knot the score at 3-3.
Minard pulled the Penguins within one score at 2:55 and tallied the equalizer at 14:17. He hadn’t registered a point in the entire series prior to Friday, last scoring a goal in Game 5 of the division finals against Philadelphia on May 9.
Early in overtime, the Penguins controlled a defensive zone face-off and started moving up ice. James took a pass on the right wing and snapped a high shot past Portland goaltender Mike McKenna’s glove side for the game-winner. Jonathan Filewich and Nathan Smith picked up assists on the decisive tally.
The Pirates and Penguins will suit back up for Game 7 on Saturday night, with a trip to the 2008 Calder Cup Finals on the line.