The sagging Portland Pirates tumbled out of the top four in the AHL's Atlantic Division with this weekend. Portland followed up an embarrassing 9-2 defeat to Toronto on Friday with losses to Springfield and Hartford to finish up a run of three games in three days with just one point. Despite being in fifth place, the Pirates do have more points than the North Division's fourth-place team, so if the postseason started today they would be in... barely.
Falcons 3, Pirates 2 (SO)
Domenic Monardo scored the winning goal in the eighth round of the shootout to give Springfield the home ice win. It was the only successful conversion of the skills competition. Shane Harper (7,8) scored both Portland goals. The first opened the scoring at 16:24 of the first period and was assisted by Rocco Grimaldi and Connor Brickley. The second was unassisted and came at 10:25 of the middle frame to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Laurent Dauphin and Alex Grant scored for the Falcons, with Grant's game-tying, power-play goal coming with 22 seconds left in regulation time. Mike McKenna took the loss finishing with 31 saves. Niklas Treutle made 21 stops to post the win.
Wolf Pack 4, Pirates 3
Portland returned home on Sunday and once again couldn't hold a lead after forty-minutes, falling 4-3 to Hartford. Wolf Pack defenseman Chris Summers notched his first of the season to open the scoring 2:33 into the game. Matt MacKenzie (1), in his second game with the Pirates after signing a PTO, tied the score at 11:56, with assists going to Rocco Girmaldi and Shane Harper. Luke Adam put Hartford back on top at the 6:02 mark of the second. Portland scored twice in a 3:08 span to take the lead. Rob Flick (7) lit the lamp at 11:45 from Chase Balisy and Cameron Gaunce. Gaunce then combined with Connor Brickley to set up MacKenzie Weegar (6) for a power-play goal. Hartford blueliner Ryan Graves beat Mike McKenna, who finished with 25 stops, twice in the final frame to give the Wolf Pack the road win and send the Pirates to a sixth straight defeat. Magnus Hellberg made 29 saves to pick up his 24th win of the year.
Portland (31-24-3-2) will face the Wolf Pack again on Friday, this time in Hartford to kick off a three-game road trip.
In a bit of personnel news, the parent Florida Panthers sent forward Kyle Rau back to Portland.