LEWISTON —  The Portland Pirates are fallible at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee after all.

James Sheppard and Tim Kennedy scored goals 1:08 apart in the third period and the Worcester penalty kill unit held off a late Portland chance as the Sharks rallied from a goal down in the final frame to post a 4-2 victory over the Pirates in front of 3,264 at the Colisee.

“I don’t know about them, but we certainly still get up for these games,” Kennedy said.

The loss is the Pirates’ first in Lewiston in seven games played at the Colisee dating back to 2008, and ruined a chance for the team to begin a modest win streak.

“I felt like (Wednesday), we might have been thinking we were a little better than we were coming off that road win in Hershey,” Pirates’ coach Ray Edwards said. “Sometimes that happens coming off the road.”

Inefficiency on the power play hurt the Pirates all night. Portland finished 0-for-6 with the extra skater, and barely mustered a chance against Worcester keeper Alex Stalock.

“It was awful, just awful,” Edward said. “I take responsibility for that, I run the power play. We have to get our guys to be more direct … We have to move the puck and attack, and we’re hanging on to the puck too long.”

Worcester didn’t fare much better, scoring once in four tries. But it was a Portland power play that appeared to give the Sharks momentum in the third period. With Sheppard of the in the box for Worcester, the Pirates came up empty, and allowed a shorthanded chance. When Sheppard returned to the ice, he was on a mission.

“We had our backs against the wall,” Kennedy said, “and then Sheppard came out of the box, makes a great move and puts one in the net.”

Sheppard capped a rush up the left side with a snipe off the post that beat Portland goalie Mark Visentin to knot the game at one. Worcester rode that momentum to another goal, this one from Kennedy 1:08 later to put Worcester on top to stay.

Matt Irwin netted his first of the season into an empty net in the game’s waning seconds to cinch the victory for the visitors.

“We’re going into the third period, we have a lead, and we have to find a way to get it done,” Edwards said. “We didn’t get it done.”

The Worcester win spoiled a solid outing for Portland forward Rob Klinkhammer, who scored both Pirates goals in the loss.

Klinkhammer put the Pirates on top quickly. After a Worcester shot clanged off the post, the rebound kicked out to Klinkhammer along the left boards. He poked the puck past the Sharks’ defender and raced into the Worcester zone, looked off the back-checking defender and fired a wrister along the ice that beat Stalock five-hole to put Portland on top 1-0 just 1:08 into the contest.

The Sharks struck back 2:29 later, after a penalty to Portland’s Joel Rechlicz. Sebastian Stalberg tipped his fifth of the season past Portland keeper Mark Visentin on a feed from Matt Tennyson on the power play to knot the contest at a goal each.

A fight later in the period got the home crowd back into it as Portland’s Mark Louis and Worcester’s Matt Pelech squared off just inside the Sharks’ zone, but neither offense appeared buoyed by the fisticuffs.

A Portland power play to end the first frame yielded no scoring chances, either, as the first period ended in a deadlock.

After a lackluster start to the second period, the Pirates forced a turnover in the center zone. Defenseman Mathieu Brodeur banked the puck forward to Brendan Shinnimin, who took off on a 2-on-1 with Klinkhammer. Shinnimin drew Stalock to the left and slid the puck through a defender to Klinkhammer, who buried his second of the game at 8:27.

The Pirates got into penalty trouble late in the second, after squandering a brief 5-on-3 of their own, and the Sharks skated for better than a minute with two extra skaters. But Worcester also failed to score.

Chris Conner had a chance in the final minute of the frame on a breakaway, but Stalock stared him down and Conner shot wide.


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