Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates fall short in comeback

After being postponed twice because of poor weather, the Portland Pirates and Worcester Sharks were finally able to play at the DCU Center on Wednesday night.

The Sharks built a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes of play and held on for a 4-3 win, snapping the Pirates three-game winning streak in front of 2,439 people in attendance at the game.

The game was originally scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving, but a huge east coast storm postponed the majority of the games in the region. It was postponed again yesterday after another snow storm hit the area making travel to Worcester treacherous.

The Pirates, riding a three-game win streak entering the game, underwent a small roster shakeup as defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani was recalled earlier in the day because of a groin injury sustained by Sabres forward Drew Stafford.

Luke Adam, assigned to Portland yesterday, returned to the lineup after spending nearly a month with the Sabres.

For the Sharks, Andrew Desjardins, Brandon Mashinter and Justin Braun were all returned to Worcester and factored in the outcome of the game.

With a scoreless game heading late into the first period, Mashinter scored his eighth of the season while on the power play at 16:28 to give the Sharks a 1-0.

Worcester expanded the lead with a pair of goals in the second period by Desjardins and Braun only 27 seconds apart.

At 2:44 of the third period, the Pirates began to claw their way back into the game as Igor Gongalsky scored his second goal of the season in as many games on a play set up by Dennis McCauley, who stripped puck from defenseman Jay Leach and fed a pass from behind the net to Gongalsky, beating Sharks netminder Alex Stalock.

At 5:23, the Sharks regained their three-goal lead as Tommy Wingels shot beat Pirates goalkeeper Jhonas Enroth for a 4-1 lead.

With the Pirates on a power play, Derek Whitmore scored at 12:49 of the period to cut into the Sharks lead, 4-2, after chipping at a rebound from top of the crease over the top of Stalock.

Mark Mancari extended his point-scoring streak to eight games with a goal at the 17:19 mark of the third period. Matt Ellis fired a long shot on net that Mancari deflected by Stalock, pulling the Pirates to within a goal at 4-3.

TJ Trevelyan added an empty net goal to seal the game for Worcester.

Enroth ended the night with 32 saves on 36 shots while Stalock ended the night with 25 saves in the win.

Portland finished the game going 1-for-4 on the power play. Worcester went 1-for-2 with the man advantage.

Both teams will meet again on Friday at the Cumberland County Civic Center and again on Sunday back the DCU Center in Worcester.

NOTES: Pirates forward Brian Roloff was a healthy scratch because he was dealing with family issues back in Buffalo.

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