After blanking Providence at home on Friday night, the Portland Pirates completed a perfect weekend with road wins over the Hartford Wolf Pack and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The three-game winning streak put the Pirates in much better position as far as making the Calder Cup playoffs goes. Portland is now tied with Bridgeport for fourth place, which guarantees a postseason berth, in the Atlantic Division with 83 points. The Pirates lead the Syracuse Crunch, the fourth place team in the North Division by six points. Even if the Pirates finish in fifth place in their own division, as long as they stay ahead of Syracuse they will cross over and play the Toronto Marlies in the first round of the playoffs.
Pirates 4, Wolf Pack 1
Wade Megan scored two goals and Mike McKenna stopped 43 shots to lead Portland to huge win in Hartford. Defenseman Brent Regner (5) opened the scoring with an unassisted goal 21 seconds into the first period. Megan (12) lit the lamp with 1:22 left in the second, from Connor Brickley and Logan Shaw, to put the Pirates up by two. Newcomer Zac Lynch combined with Rob Flick to set up Brett Olson (11) 14 seconds later. Daniel Paille scored the only goal for the Wolf Pack at 2:58 of the final frame. Megan (12) notched his second of the tilt with 33 seconds left in regulation to complete the scoring. Magnus Hellberg stopped 24 shots in a losing effort for Hartford.
Pirates 5, Penguins 3
Sam Brittain spelled Mike McKenna and made 30 saves for his seventh win of the season. Penguins' forward Jake Guentzel opened the scoring 1:24 into the action. Dustin Jeffrey added to the lead at the 10:48 mark. Dylan Olsen (5) halved the deficit with a power-play goal at 17:44 from Connor Brickley and Wayne Simpson. The next Portland goal saw Simpson combine with Chase Balisy to set up Brickley (10) for a power-play marker 5:10 into the second. Jean-Sebastien Dea replied 1:41 later to put the home side back on top. Brett Olson scored at the 9:06 mark, with the lone assist going to Rob Flick, to forge a 3-3 tie. Logan Shaw netted the eventual game-winner, from Brickley and Cameron Gaunce, with 1:30 left in the frame. Shane Harper added an insurance goal 2:44 into the third period, with the assists going to Gaunce and Kyle Rau, to complete the scoring. Tristan Jarry took the loss for the Baby Pens, finishing with 17 saves.
Portland (38-25-5-2) is off until Friday when they host the Providence Bruins to kick off a home-and-home.