That’s at least how head coach Ray Edwards felt about his team Wednesday night after falling 4-2 to the Worcester Sharks in front of 3,264 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
“I didn’t think we were very good at all tonight,” said Edwards. “I thought we were soft and when I say soft, we didn’t communicate and when you don’t talk to each other, you don’t know what’s coming and get hesitant. I thought we were hesitant all night.”
It was the second consecutive time that Portland gave up three goals in the third period while holding a lead against the Sharks. Last Friday, the Pirates held a 1-0 lead going into the third period before dropping a 3-1 decision.
“I thought we played much better Friday,” he said. “I felt like we were skated better (on Friday). The execution tonight was very poor.”
The power play was also very much a sore spot for the Pirates, finishing the night 0-for-6, including an opportunity late in the game, skating six-on-four.
“It was awful,” Edwards said. “I’m responsible for that. I handle the power play. We’ve got to get our guys to be more direct. We’ve got to move the puck quicker and attack. We were just hanging onto the puck too long.”
Portland held a 2-1 going into the third period, but a pair of goals just 1:08 apart left them trailing, 3-2.
James Sheppard, just out the penalty box, made a couple of nifty moves to tie the game, 2-2, with only his second goal of the season at the 11:05 mark.
Tim Kennedy made 3-2 with 7:47 remaining throwing a shot on net from the right circle that found its way past Pirates’ goalie Mark Visentin.
The Pirates weren’t able to generate much offense over the last two periods, especially in the third period as the Sharks limited Portland’s chances to only six shots on goal.
“I think the whole game we ended up with 22 shots,” said Edwards. “We didn’t attack seams, we didn’t get enough traffic to the net and let’s give (Worcester) some credit because they’re a big, strong team and they make it hard. We’ve got to figure out how to be a little more direct with them.”
Like Friday, the Pirates got on the board first, opening the scoring just over a minute into the first period when Sharks’ defenseman Danny Groulx mishandled the puck, causing a turnover to forward Rob Klinkhammer.
Klinkhammer chipped the puck off the boards to himself, creating an odd-man rush, snapping a shot past Sharks’ goalie Alex Stalock.
At 3:37, Worcester tied the game, 1-1, when Sebastian Stalberg scored a power-play goal off a deflection in front of Visentin, who finished the game with 28 saves.
Klinkhammer, for the second time this season, recorded his second goal of the night, drilling a cross-ice feed from rookie Brendan Shinnimin past Stalock for the lone goal of the second period at 8:27.
“Going into the third period, we’ve got a lead,” Edwards said. “We’ve got to find a way to get the job done. Tonight, we just didn’t get it done.”
“I think tonight we thought we were better than we really are after coming off that win in Hershey.”
NOTES: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, listed day-to-day, missed his sixth consecutive game with a right hand injury… Ethan Werek and Darian Dziurzynski, both out with upper-body injuries, were also injury scratches for the game… David Rundblad and Scott Arnold were healthy scratches.