Wednesday, the Pirates will face a rematch in Lewiston for the first and only time this season as they host the Worcester Sharks for a 7 p.m. faceoff in the third of six home games the Portland-based American Hockey League team will play in Lewiston.
The Pirates are coming off a three-game road trip — one that included a game in Worcester. The Sharks defeated the Pirates 3-1 Friday night in a contest that saw a revival of the bad blood between the two teams.
Portland and Worcester left each other last season on a sour note in a game that featured a bench-clearing brawl and accusations from both sides on a variety of topics both on and off the ice. The first contest of the year between the two clubs — a 7-4 Portland win in Lewiston on opening night — was relatively tame.
But not Friday.
Among the many penalties assessed to both teams were fighting majors to Mark Louis and Brandon Mashinter, who squared off just 1:38 into the game, as well as a fight between Joel Rechlicz and Jimmy Bonneau, who missed the first game between the clubs because of a suspension earned in one of the fights last spring. The Pirates got on the board first with Chris Brown scoring just 1:02 into the game, but failed to hold the lead as the Sharks scored three unanswered.
The Pirates dug themselves a 3-0 hole on Saturday before rallying to tie the game late, only to lose in a shootout, and then went ahead early and stayed there on Sunday to pull out a 3-1 win over Hershey in Pennsylvania.
Portland and Worcester have been equally unpredictable this season. The Pirates stand at 5-4-1-1 and have neither won nor lost more than two games in succession. The Sharks stand at 6-5-1-1. They began the season 1-4-0-1, but are 4-1-1 in November and lead the Pirates by two points in the Eastern Conference standings.
Bracken Kearns and former Pirate Tim Kennedy lead Worcester in scoring with 11 points in 13 games, while Alex Stalock has had the most success for the Sharks between the pipes, putting up a 6-2 record with a 2.38 GAA and .916 save percentage.
Alexandre Bolduc and Chris Conner share the points lead in Portland this season at 13 through 11 games, with Andy Miele chipping in with 11. Chad Johnson has carried most of the weight in the cage this season, going 4-4 with a 2.89 GAA and a .913 save percentage.
Portland will play three more games in Lewiston after Wednesday night’s contest: Dec. 14 against Manchester, Dec. 29 against Adirondack and Feb. 17 against St. John’s.
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