Worcester, MA - The Portland Pirates extended their win streak to 5 games, the longest since the 2010-2011 season, defeating the Worcester Sharks 3-2 at the DCU Center in Worcester on Sunday afternoon. The win puts the Pirates three points clear of the Sharks and two points clear of the Providence Bruins to gives them sole possession of 1st place in the Atlantic Division, the first time the Pirates have been in first this season.
It didn't take long for the scoring to start. After Rob Klinkhammer was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct, Matt Tennyson capitalized, taking a Freddie Hamilton pass and slapping it past goaltender Chad Johnson to give the Sharks a 1-0 advantage at the 1:23 mark of the first. Just 13 seconds later, however, Brendan Shinnimin struck back for the Pirates, slapping his 4th goal of the year past Sharks goaltender Harri Sateri. The score remained tied until the 11:42 mark, as James Sheppard slapped a one-timer from Brodie Reid past Johnson for Worcester's second of the game. Jordan Szwarz attempted to equalize the game with a shorthanded attempt on the breakaway, but denied by Sateri and the Sharks took a 2-1 advantage to the first intermission.
The second period started much like the first, with an early goal. Brendon Gormley tallied the score for the Pirates on the power play, his second of the year, to tie the game for the Pirates. Alexandre Bolduc was credited with the assist, his team leading 26th point of the year, and the score would remain tied throughout the second.
Andy Miele would give the Pirates the lead for good in the third. Miele redirected a Maxim Goncharov slapshot past the glove side of Sateri 5:33 into the third to give Portland the 3-2 advantage. The Sharks pressed the advantage, peppering Johnson with shots as time wound down, but were unable to put anything past him, giving him his 10th win of the year.
Worcester falls to 13-10-1-2 (29 points), while Portland improves to 15-10-1-1 record (32 points). Chad Johnson improves to 10-5-0 on the year, stopping 22 of 24 shots, while Harri Sateri falls to 4-6-1 after stopping 29 of 32.
The Pirates return to Portland on Wednesday, December 19th against the Springfield Falcons.