HARTFORD, Conn – Dustin Penner scored his first of four goals late in the first period to ignite a four-goal outburst in 3:25 as the Portland Pirates rallied to beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 7-4 in the American Hockey League Wednesday night.

The victory moved the Pirates (9-3) into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division. They started the night tied with the Wolf Pack (7-3-1-1), who had been 6-0-1-1 in their previous eight games.

Aaron Gavey set up a wide-open Penner with 29 seconds left in the first period to start the Pirates’ comeback, then Penner assisted on Zenon Konopka’s shot through a screen to tie it 24 seconds into the second period.

Tim Brent converted Ladislav Smid’s shot at 1:05 to put Portland ahead to stay, and Penner capped the Pirates’ surge with a rebound goal on a power play at 2:56, sending Wolf Pack goalie Chris Holt to the bench after he allowed four goals on 17 shots.

Dwight Helminen got Hartford to 4-3 at 9:40, but Ryan Shannon scored the winner at 4:12 of the third period while the Wolf Pack had a 5-on-3 power play.

Penner sandwiched his third and fourth goals at 6:14 and 15:22 of the third period around Jarkko Immonen’s score at 9:41.

Colby Genoway and Joe Rullier gave the Wolf Pack a 2-0 lead before the Pirates rallied.

Mike Wall had 26 saves for Portland. Brend Bruckler stopped 14 of 17 shots in relief of Holt.

AP-ES-11-09-05 2218EST

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