The Portland Pirates split a weekend double-header with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Cross Insurance Arena. Portland is now 18-13-1 which is good for third place is the AHL's Atlantic Division.
Portland 4, Lehigh Valley 3 (OT)
The Pirates took the opener of the set with a 4-3 decision on Saturday night. Kyle Rau scored two goals including the overtime winner. Petr Straka put the Phantoms on top 15 seconds into the first period from Tim Brent and Samuel Morin. Rob Schremp equalized midway through the frame with the assists going to Jonathan Racine and John McFarland. Garrett Wilson scored at 17:02 from Brett Olson and Racine, to give Portland the lead after twenty minutes. Schremp set up Rau's first goal, and 14th of the season, 14:53 into the second period. Mark Alt pulled one back for Lehigh Valley 1:43 later with assists credited to Cole Bardreau and Tyrell Goulbourne. Just 47 seconds after that, Aaron Palushaj tied the game at three from Taylor Leier and Andrew MacDonald. After a scoreless third period, Rau bagged the winner 1:46 into the extra session. Rocco Grimaldi and Cameron Gaunce drew the assists on Rau's deciding goal. Mike McKenna finished with 29 saves to post his eighth straight win. Anthony Stolarz stopped 28 shots in taking the loss.
Lehigh Valley 2, Portland 1
The Phantoms slipped by the Pirates 2-1 on Sunday to get out of Maine with a split and three points. Sam Brittain started for Portland and took the loss, finishing with 22 saves on 24 shots. Cole Bardreau opened the scoring at 16:11 of the first period from Tyrell Goulborne and Joe Rehkamp. Lehigh Valley extended the lead on Danick Martel's goal at 8;27 of the second. The tally was set up by Nick Cousins and Samuel Morin. Shane Harper got Portland on the board at 1:59 of the final frame. Harper's fifth was assisted by Rocco Grimaldi and Dylan Olsen. Veteran goaltender Jason LaBarbera shut the door the rest of the way to get the win. LaBarbera turned away 37 shots, including 17 in the third period.
Up next for the Pirates is a two-game set in St. John's versus the IceCaps on Friday and Saturday.