LEWISTON — Coach Rod Simmons knows what the L/A Fighting Spirit are going to work on this week in practice.

The Long Beach Sharks scored three power play goals en route to a 6-4 victory Sunday afternoon in front of 247 fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

“It’s the lack of mental toughness is what it is,” Simmons said. “We have work to do with that. It starts with our leadership, all the way down. We got to be better and we have a week to fix it. That’s exactly what we are going to do this week.

“I don’t understand all the calls, but the ones that were against us that we did, we owned. We have to own those calls. I can’t say anything other than the mental maturity and mental toughness, we are lacking it.”

The Sharks had 10 power play opportunities, while the Fighting Spirit had four.

Despite the win, Long Beach coach Mike Stanaway thought it wasn’t his team’s best game.

“I think we got lucky more than anything to be honest with you,” Stanaway said. “I don’t think we were the better team tonight, but the puck happened to bounce our way, which every now and again, on the road, you like that to happen. I don’t think we were the better team.”

The Fighting Spirit found the back of the net first when a two-on-one developed between Thomas Kuntz and Patrick Halpin. Kuntz skated into the zone, made the defenseman commit to block a potential shot, and slid the puck to Halpin in the slot, and Halpin fired the puck into a half-open cage. The goal came 7:05 into the contest.

The Sharks bit back with 6:28 remaining. Oskar Lindberg’s initial shot hit the right post, but Carmine Taffo was right there to put the puck home. Ricky Regala recorded the secondary assist.

In the middle frame, the Fighting Spirit again took the lead when Crewz Berry lifted a backhander into the net off a rebound 3:39 into the period. Kyle Secor had the initial shot and notched the lone assist on the goal.

A little more than three minutes later, Long Beach tied the game when Keegan Britt found the back of the net. Kyle Sada had the assist.

Long Beach was poised to take the lead on a power play when a shot was tipped past Fighting Spirit goalie Michael Errico. While the Sharks celebrated, the officials convened and ruled it was a high stick that tipped the puck in at the 8:10 mark.

Despite helping the home team, the non-goal took the wind out of the sail inside the Colisee, but L/A’s Walker Hamilton brought life back into the building as he scored a shorthanded goal with five seconds remaining on the Long Beach’s power play. Matt Siegel and Dylan Vrees recorded assists on the goal.

“We expect things like that from our leaders,” Simmons said. “We expect them to step up and carry the play. Your best players want to the puck when the game is on the line. He played that, but we need that consistently is what we need.”

A bit of controversy occurred about halfway through the second period while L/A was on the man advantage. It looked like the Fighting Spirit were going on a two -man advantage when Vrees got a stick into the face and went down. No call was made and Vrees went to the bench.

The power play looked like it was cut short when Kyle Secor was called for holding. Vrees went to the locker room to get repairs. The referees once again got together and the linesmen let the referee know about the high stick to Vrees. They decided to give Britt a five-minute major for high sticking and a game misconduct.

The Secor penalty stood and they played 4-on-3 hockey a bit, but L/A couldn’t convert on the extended chance.

“I didn’t ask,” Stanaway said. “I knew they called the high stick; I didn’t need an explanation.”

The Long Beach Sharks scored two quick power play goals to give themselves a 4-3 lead. The first goal came with 10 seconds remaining in the middle frame as L/A was called for too many men on the ice. Alex Cerda scored his seventh goal of the year with a point shot.

The second power play tally came 1:36 into the third period when Gunther Stange won the faceoff back to Martin Vitolins, who blasted the shot past Errico.

“Special teams were big tonight,” Stanaway said. “Our power play has been struggling, but they had a good day today. That always helps.

Jonathan Donaghey tied the game for the Fighting Spirit 8:52 into the third period. Hamilton picked up the assist.

Vitolins scored his second power play goal of the third period with 9:03 remaining in the game to give the Sharks the 5-4 lead.

Phil Garcia scored his sixth goal of the season on the man advantage, with Strange picking up the assist.

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