It was all about Portland Pirates goaltender Jhonas Enroth on Friday night.
Enroth made 44 saves and shutdown all three shooters he faced in the shootout as the Pirates held on for a 3-2 win before 3,636 at the DCU Center.
The victory allowed the Pirates to keep pace with the Manchester Monarchs, who were victorious, 4-3, against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, remaining in second place, four points behind in the Atlantic Division. However, the Pirates have four games in hand on Manchester.
The Pirates could have prevented Worcester from gaining a point, but Benn Ferriero found the back of the net with 55 seconds left in the game when he deflected a Sean Sullivan shot from the point past Enroth while on the power play.
After a scoreless OT, Paul Byron, who just returned from Buffalo, as well as Corey Tropp and Mark Parrish scored for the Pirates in the shootout to secure the extra point.
Portland opened the scoring in the game on a goal by Maxime Legault at the 12:13 mark of the first period after taking a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle, beating Sharks netminder Tyson Sexsmith. TJ Brennan and Enroth recorded assists on the play.
For Brennan, in his last 15 games, he’s scored five goals, six assists for 11 points with a plus-9 rating.
In the second period, the Pirates made it 2-0 as Derek Whitmore recorded his 21st goal of the season, finishing off a two-on-one break with Legault, putting the puck under the crossbar past Sexsmith just 5:44 into the period.
After the Sharks slow start in the first period, being outshot 17-12, they’d storm back in the final 40 minutes, outshooting the Pirates, 31-13.
At 13:43, TJ Trevelyan buried a one-timer past Enroth to pull the Sharks within a goal at 2-1.
Enroth improved to 19-13-3-2 on the season with the win, while Sexsmith made 29 saves in the loss.
Portland was 0-for-4 on the power play. Worcester went 1-for-3 with the man advantage on the night.
NOTES: Jacob Lagace received a five minute major early in the game as well as a game misconduct, which left the team short a forward… Colin Stuart returned after a four game absence due to a lower body injury… On April 2nd there will be a Pirates fan bus heading to Manchester, New Hampshire for a game against the Monarchs. The cost of the trip will be $45, which covers transportation to and from Manchester along with a ticket to the game, transportation will be provided by Custom Coach and Limousine. For more details you can visit the Facebook fan bus event page or stop by the Pirates customer service desk.