The Portland Pirates dropped a second straight at home to the Utica Comets on Saturday night before breaking out big time in a 6-2 win over the Falcons in Springfield on Sunday to finally end a four-game losing streak.
Utica 6, Portland 3
Travis Ehrhardt scored two goals, including the eventual game-winning shorthanded tally, and added two assists to power the Comets to the back-to-back sweep of the Pirates. Ashton Sautner, Nicklas Jensen (PPG), Mike Zalewski and Alex Friesen (ENG) were the other goal-scorers for Utica.
Garrett Wilson (SHG), John McFarland and defenseman Sena Acolatse lit the lamp for the Pirates, while Rob Flick, Greg McKegg, Shane Harper and Kyle Rau added assists. Wilson's unassisted goal was his first of the season.
Mike McKenna took the loss, turning aside 23 of the 28 shots he faced. Joe Cannata posted the win, finishing with 31 saves.
Portland 6, Springfield 2
The Pirates erupted for five goals in the final frame to snap a 1-1 tie after two, bringing the struggling club's four-game losing streak to an end.
Rocco Grimaldi opened the scoring with his first AHL goal of the season at 12:16 of the first period. Assists on the play went to leading scorer Rob Schremp and Garrett Wilson.
Springfield tied the game in the second period when Lucas Lessio beat Sam Brittain with the helpers going to Jon DiSalvatore and Daniel New.
Wayne Simpson notched his first of the year from Wilson and Cameron Gaunce at 7:23 of the third period.
Rob Flick potted the eventual game-winner 1:40 later with John McFarland getting the only assist.
Shane Harper added an unassisted tally at 11:43 to put the Pirates up by three before Laurent Dauphin pulled one back for the Falcons four minutes later. Greg Carey and New drew the assists on Dauphin's goal.
Portland added two empty-net goals, from forwards Kyle Rau and Brett Olson, to complete the scoring.
Rau's team-leading eighth goal was set up by McFarland, while Olson's second of the season was unassisted.
Sam Brittain picked up his second win by making 23 stops. Louis Domingue took the loss, finishing with 31 saves on 35 shots.
Up next for the Florida Panthers AHL affiliate are road games against Providence on Friday night and Bridgeport on Saturday.