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Privateers end homestand without victory

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This isn’t the way the Thousand Islands Privateers want to enter the new year.

After the Privateers rallied for two goals in the third period to draw even, Matt Smyth scored three goals in regulation and tallied twice in the shootout as the Williamsport Outlaws edged Thousand Islands, 5-4 on Saturday night in a Federal Hockey League game at Watertown Municipal Arena.

Thousand Islands (14-13), which blew a two-goal lead of its own, suffered its third consecutive home loss in as many nights.

“We put ourselves in that position really all weekend — which is unacceptable,” Privateers assistant captain Adam McAllister said. “We can’t keep being down going into the third period and then try to climb back and a win a hockey game — it’s just not going to fly that way.”

Despite earning a point from the setback, the result didn’t make things any easier for the Privateers, who were outscored 3-2 in the shootout.

“This could have been a big weekend for us,” McAllister said. “Playing in front of our home crowd for three straight nights, we just didn’t get it done, which is disappointing. This is a tough way for us to go into the holiday.”

Thousand Islands coach Paul Kelly refused comment after the game.

“Any road win is a good win for us,” said Williamsport coach Chris Firriolo, whose team won for just the third time on the road this season. “Matt Smyth was unbelievable for us and (Michael) DiLorenzo has come in and done a good job in place of (goalie) Chris Whitley, who is injured, and he did real well down the stretch for us in the shootout.”

Trailing by two goals in the third period, William Foster scored twice within a span of 21 seconds to draw Thousand Islands even at 4-4, with both goals set up by Justin MacDonald.

After Foster whipped a shot from the right circle past goalie Michael DiLorenzo, he backhanded a feed from behind the net past the goalie at 12:46.

“It was back in forth, we capitalized on their mistakes and they capitalized on ours,” Smyth said. “But we came together and worked as a team and got it done.”

Following overtime, Thousand Islands led 2-1 after two rounds in the shootout, but Chris Leveille and Smyth followed with a goal in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, and the Privateers were denied on their final three attempts.

“This wasn’t my first shootout and they’re a lot of fun,” said Smyth, “especially when we can get a road win like this.”

With Thousand Islands leading 2-0, Smyth recorded a natural hat trick to spark the Outlaws, who scored four consecutive goals to lead 4-2.

Smyth converted on the power play on a one-timer 6:57 into the second period — he scored twice within a stretch of 1:08 — to give the Outlaws a 3-2 lead by one-timing a Chris Leveille’s cross-ice pass past Matt Anthony at 19:04.

Leveille snapped a shot past Anthony 1:35 into the third period for a 4-2 Williamsport advantage.

“We did it all weekend,” McAllister said. “We made some mistakes and they cost us in a big way.”

Anthony, who finished with 43 saves, literally kept the Privateers in the game by stopping 20 of 21 shots after the second period and overtime.

“Matt played lights out for us again,” McAllister said. “But we’ve got to do a better job and we can’t just keep relying on him to keep us in hockey games, we’ve got to be better as a team.”

DiLorenzo made 42 saves to earn the win for Williamsport.

The Privateers and Outlaws meet again at 5:05 p.m. on Tuesday in a New Year’s Day matinee in Williamsport.

nNOTES: The Privateers are 0-2 in shootouts this season. ... MacDonald registered three assists and now has totaled 17 points (3-14) in nine games this season against the Outlaws. ... Williamsport now leads the season series, 5-4. ... The Outlaws improved to 3-9 on the road while the Privateers slipped to 9-6 on home ice. ... After playing at Williamsport on Tuesday, the Privateers hit the road again to face the Danville Dashers at 7:05 p.m. next Friday and Saturday.

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