The first period went awry for Portland Pirates Saturday night in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The Pirates gave up three first-period goals to the Worcester Sharks and never recovered, falling 4-1 to the Sharks before 5,045 at the DCU Center.
Portland, currently fifth in the AHL’s Eastern Conference, dropped to 30-19-1-1 and trail the Providence Bruins for the Atlantic Division lead by four points.
The Pirates lone goal came in the third period when Phil Lane recorded his fifth of the season at the 4:47 mark, assisted by Rob Klinkhammer, as he drove around the net and roofed a shot under the crossbar from just below the left circle past Sharks’ goalie Alex Stalock.
With the game scoreless, the Sharks struck for three goals in a four minute span in the first period to open a 3-0 lead.
Danny Groulx opened the scoring at the 13:15 mark blasting a slap shot from the top of the left circle over the glove of Pirates’ starting goaltender Mike Lee.
With Jimmy Bonneau in the box for interference, John McCarthy battled for the puck off the faceoff, shoveling the puck past defenseman Max Goncharov to Bracken Kerns, who raced in on a breakaway with the puck unsettled and snapped a shot by Lee for a shorthanded goal to extend Worcester’s lead, 2-0.
Only two minutes later, with Bonneau stepping back onto the ice, he picked up loose puck as it was wildly tossed around the boards by the Pirates out of the zone, and skated down the left wing, firing a low shot that caught the far post, giving the Sharks a 3-0 lead.
That would end the night for Lee, who suffered his first loss of the season (4-1-0) with Portland, making 10 saves on 13 shots in the first period, as Domingue began the second period to get his first AHL action since being recalled last Saturday.
He kept the Sharks off the board until 3:08 left in the second period when James Livingston fed a cross-ice pass to Matt Tennyson, who skated to the right faceoff dot, snapping shot by Domingue to extend the Sharks lead, 4-0.
Domingue made 22 saves in the no-decision, while Stalock stopped 36 of 37 shots for the win.
NOTES: The Pirates signed defenseman Eric Baier to a professional tryout contract on Saturday. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound defenseman played three games for the Pirates during the 2010-’11 season under the Buffalo Sabres affiliation. He’s played three games in the AHL this season with the Providence Bruins, going scoreless. In 48 games with the Trenton Titans, Baier has recorded two goals, nine assists for 11 points. His brother Paul also was a member of the Pirates during the 2008-’09 season under the Anaheim Ducks affiliation.