Lake Region's Hall finishes 2nd in Long Jump at Indoor Nationals

NEW YORK, N.Y. (NEWS CENTER) - Lake Region track standout Kate Hall added yet another medal to a growingly impressive haul as she finished second in the long jump at the New Balance Indoor Track National Championship. 

The junior's top mark of 19 feet, 11.50 inches was six inches shy of the winning jump by Keturah Orji of Budd Lake, NJ (20 feet, 5.25 inches). 

Other notable finishes from Maine athletes include Sydney Sirois (Greene) and Kayla Allen (Lewiston) finishing eighth and ninth in the girls one-mile racewalk. 

Spencer Dunn from Auburn was fifth for the second consecutive year in the boys one-mile racewalk. 

Pirates drop road series at St. John's

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland (NEWS CENTER) - The Portland Pirates couldn't hold a third-period lead as they dropped their rubber match in a three-game series with St. John's, 3-2. 

Brandon Yip (9) and Jordan Szwarz (7) each scored for the second consectuive night as their second period goals give the Pirates a 2-1 lead after two periods. 

The IceCaps responded with two goals in the third (Carl Klingberg and Josh Lunden) to skate away with the win.  Andrew Gordon scored the game's opening goal for St. John's in the first. 

Portland (22-30-2-8) second-to-last in the 30-team AHL standings.  The Pirates have an eight-day break before resuming their schedule next Sunday at Bridgeport.

Pirates stop two streaks at once with win over St. John's

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND (NEWS CENTER) - The Portland Pirates stopped a recent skid by beating the hottest team in the AHL, snapping a nine-game win streak for St. John's with a 7-4 win. 

Portland, who earned their first victory in five games, jumped out to four goals in the first period.  Tobias Rieder started the scoring with his team-leading 23rd.  Brandon Yip (8), Jordan Szwarz (6), and Darian Dziurzynski (2) had the other goals. 

After the IceCaps scored twice in the second to make it a two-goal game heading into the third, Lucas Lessio added an insurance goal 1:06 in on the power-play for his 21st of the season.  St. John's would make it a one-goal game again just four minutes later when Phil Lane (3) and Jordan Martinook (11, empty-net) rounded out the scoring. 

Louis Domingue made 26 saves for the Pirates. 

UMaine preps for payback against Providence in Hockey East playoffs

ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The UMaine hockey team not only will play for their postseason lives this weekend.  They'll also be taking on the team that cost them in easier road through the Hockey East playoffs. 

The Black Bears will renew their rivalry with Providence this weekend in the league quarter-finals.  Maine needed to split their final series of the regular season at home against the Friars two weekends ago to ensure a bye into the Hockey East quarter-finals and home-ice in the best-of-three series.  Providence swept both games and vaulted to third in the final standings, ultimately dropping the Black Bears from fourth to sixth.  Maine as a result to had to play a first-round elimination game last Saturday against Merrimack, which they won at Alfond Arena, 2-0. 

Wood pellet producers ramp up production as demand grows

STRONG, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Despite reports of folks having a difficult time finding enough wood pellets to heat their homes, Maine's wood pellet producers say the issues have more to do with distribution than production.

At the Geneva Wood Fuels Mill in Strong, wood pellets are in production morning, noon and night.

"People are starting to embrace it a lot more," stated Jeff Allen, the plant manager.  "It's been steady.  Very, very steady."

Logs are brought to the mill and stripped of bark to help reduce the amount of ash created when the pellets are burned.  Then they are ground into chips and processed.

The wood chips are dried in a massive dryer before winding their way into machines that press them into pellets.

Giant inflatable colon helps with cancer prevention

(NEWS CENTER) -- There is a larger than life traveling inflatable colon in Auburn-Lewiston Tuesday. It stands 10-feet high, 12-feet wide, and 12-feet long and allows people to see the inside of a colon. The colon features polyps, cancer and other abnormalities. Registered dieticians will be at the event to discuss healthy colon food. St. Mary's Medical Regional Center is featuring the giant colon Tuesday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the LePage Large Conference Room. It will then travel to the Auburn Mall and located near the TD Bank from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Pirates remain in AHL cellar after loss to Springfield

LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The Portland Pirates entered Sunday with the fewest points in the American Hockey League and didn't do anything to disprove the label of of having the league's worst record after a 9-3 loss to Springfield. 

The nine goals allowed was the most for Portland this season.  

The Pirates surrendered four in the first period before getting on the board only for the Falcons to score five more unanswered.