McKegg hat-trick gives Pirates 4-2 comeback win over Albany

After dropping its season-opener, Portland wins third in a row.

The Portland Pirates got three goals from forward Greg McKegg to sink the Albany Devils 4-2 at Cross Insurance Arena. The comeback win gave the Florida Panthers AHL affiliate a 3-1 record four games into 2015-16 campaign..

Albany jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead on goals from Paul Thompson and Blake Pietila.

Thompson opened the scoring at 8:10 with the assists going to Jim O'Brien and Vojtech Mozik. Pietila beat Portland starter Mike McKenna unassisted with 45 seconds left in the frame.

John McFarland started the Pirates rally with his second of the season at 12:05 of the middle stanza. Defensemen MacKenzie Weegar and Cameron Gaunce drew the assists.

McKegg tied the game with his first goal of the night 3:09 later with the lone helper going to winger Garrett Wilson.

The 23-year-old Pirate solved Albany netminder Doug Carr a second time for the eventual game-winner just 28 seconds into the third period. This time, Gaunce combined with Rocco Grimaldi on the assists.

McKegg completed his hat-trick with an empty-net marker with 46 seconds left in regulation. The goal came with Portland on a power play and was set up by Wayne Simpson and Gaunce, who finished the tilt with three points.

McKenna posted his second win of the year, ending the game with 26 saves. Carr stopped 23 shots for the Devils.

The two teams will meet again late this afternoon in Albany.