Portland, Maine – Andy Miele scored the game-winning goal with just 5:13 left in the game to lift the Portland Pirates to a 5-3 win over the Worcester Sharks in front of 3,578 fans at the DCU Center. The Pirates (32-29-3-5, 72 points, 10th Eastern Conference) moved to within one point of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with their second straight win. Worcester (28-28-4-7, 67 points, 14th Eastern Conference) has now lost four straight games.
Miele also notched an assist to go with his goal. Ryan Duncan had two assists for Portland in the win.
Worcester jumped out to the lead when they scored the only goal of the first period. Brodie Reid found a loose puck at the edge of the crease and was able to jam it past Portland goalie Peter Mannino for his ninth goal of the season at 8:33. The goal was assisted by Tony Lucia and Sebastien Stalberg.
The Sharks doubled the lead with a power play goal just 1:02 into the second period as Matt Irwin one-timed a Reid pass into the back of the net for his tenth goal of the year. Former Portland Pirate Tim Kennedy also picked up an assist on the play.
But, it took Portland all of nine seconds to pull to within a goal. Brett MacLean found a puck in the left circle and blasted a slapshot through the legs of Worcester netminder Harri Sateri for his 22nd goal of the season, and his third in the last two games.
Then, the Pirates jumped to the lead late in the second period with their fastest two goals all season, scored just 10 seconds apart.
The first came on the power play when Tyler Eckford banged in the rebound of a Duncan shot. Miele also picked up an assist on Eckford’s ninth goal of the season, which establishes a new career high for goals in a single season for the defenseman.
Then, at 16:01, Kenndal McArdle beat Sateri after he allowed a big rebound on an Ashton Rome shot. The goal, McArdle’s ninth of the season, gave the Pirates their first lead of the night.
But, the Sharks tied it again late in the period when Sena Acolatse slapped the puck off of Eckford’s stick and past Mannino. Acolatse’s fifth goal of the season was assisted by Mike Moore and Lucia. The power goal came at 18:47 to tie the game heading into the third.
After both teams got decent chances, the tie was finally broken when Duncan threw a puck toward the net as he left the zone for a shift change. It fluttered to the front where Miele knocked it out of the air and changed the direction of the shot to fool Sateri. The goal was Miele’s 14th of the season.
Brett Sterling put the game away with an empty net goal with 15 seconds left. Sterling’s 27th goal of the season was assisted by Jordan Szwarz.
Mannino made 24 saves in the victory to improve to 9-8-1 on the season. Sateri made 32 saves in the loss and drops to 12-16-0. Portland was 1-for-4 on the power play, while Worcester went 2-for-3.
The Fairway Mortgage Three Stars of the Game were: 1. Miele POR; 2. Acolatse WOR; 3. Eckford POR.
The Portland Pirates continue their four-game road trip as they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers from Webster Bank Arena, beginning at 7:00 p.m., tomorrow. Join the Voice of the Portland Pirates, Jeff Mannix, for all of the play-by-play action on WPEI 95.9 and 95.5 FM starting with the Pirates Pregame Show at 6:45 p.m.
The Pirates will return to the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. to take on the Sharks. Northeast Delta Dental will be giving the first 1,500 fans through the turnstiles a limited edition Pirates tote bag. The night will also be another Bud Light Saturday Hockey Night in Portland, and the Pirates will be celebrating a Night of Champions, presented by Mercy Hospital. Come help the Pirates recognize local winter sports high school champions! These student athletes will participate in the ceremonial puck drop, receive both in-seat and videoboard recognition throughout the game, see their championship trophy displayed in the concourse, and have the opportunity to be featured a live in-game radio interview. Don’t miss out on the fun!
Portland Pirates 20th Anniversary Season Tickets are now on sale! You can secure your seats for as low as $50! Season tickets include plenty of great incentives! To find out more, call the Pirates Tickets Office at 828-4665, EXT 350 today!
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