PORTLAND - The Portland Pirates used five unanswered goals to come from behind beat the Worcester Sharks 7-3 at the Cumberland County Civic Center Tuesday night. Despite falling behind 2-0 early, Portland would storm back to knock off their division rival, and extend their first place lead in the Atlantic Division to 5 points over Worcester.
The Pirates were forced to kill off a five on three penalty early after Alexandre Bolduc was sent off for slashing at 4:33 just 19 seconds after a David Rundblad delay of game penalty. The Sharks capitalized on the two man advantage, as Denny Urban blasted a shot from the top of the faceoff circles to beat Pirates' starter Chad Johnson for his first goal of the year at 5:31. Brodie Reid extended the Sharks' lead at the 9:31 mark, as his slap shot from the point would beat Johnson for his sixth of the year. The Pirates swung the momentum back in their favor, however, as Chris Conner found his way around the Worcester defense and laid off a drop pass for Bolduc, who beat Sharks' starter Alex Stalock for his 17th of the season and third in as many games at 12:09. The Pirates tallied a power play goal of their own in the first, with Brendan Shinnimin finding a loose puck in front of Stalock and chipping it over his shoulder for his sixth of the season at 18:19.
Worcester regained the lead early in the second, with James Sheppard finding Reid in front for his second goal of the night at 2:35. From then on, the game was all Pirates, with Evan Brophey tying the game up at 3:04 of the second. Brophey's tally was his third of the year, and the start of 5 unanswered Pirates goals. After a Nick Petrecki delay of game call, the Pirates would strike again on the power play, as Michael Stone sent home a blast from the blue line for his sixth of the year at 8:39. Portland capped off the period with a Brendan Shinnimin shorthanded goal on a breakaway that saw Shinnimin end up in Stalock's net. After a short review, the goal stood, and the Pirates hit the second intermission with a 5-3 advantage.
The Pirates extended their lead at the 9:30 mark of the third period. Bolduc picked up a loose puck and sent a cross ice pass to Chris Brown, who beat Stalock for his 11th of the season. The Pirates capped off the scoring with their third power play goal of the night, as Brown knocked a Brandon Gormley shot out of the air and found the back of the net for his 12th of the season.
The Pirates improve to 21-12-1-1 on the season, while Chad Johnson is now 12-7-0-2. The Worcester Sharks fall to 18-13-1-2, while Alex Stalock drops to 12-7-1-1. The Pirates have won 11 of their last 13 games, and 8 straight at home. The 7 Pirates goals ties their season high, set against the St. John's IceCaps on October 23rd.
The Pirates get back to action on Saturday when they travel to Bridgeport to face the Sound Tigers on the road for the first time this season. Puck drop is at 7 PM .