Portland Pirates sweep back-to-back with Hershey Bears

Portland got off to great start on home ice to raise its record 2-1.

After dropping its season opener in Providence last week, the Portland Pirates swept a home back-to-back with the Hershey Bears this weekend to move to 2-1 on the young season.

Portland 3, Hershey 2

The Pirates took their home-opener on Saturday with a 3-2 decision over the Bears in front of a crowd of 4,275.

Hershey's Dustin Gazley opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal, from Liam O'Brien, 6:30 into the first period.

Logan Shaw scored two second period power-play goals to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead.

The first goal came at 2:42 and was assisted by captain Brent Regner and Rocco Grimaldi. This was Grimaldi first game of the season after recovering from an ankle injury during Florida Panthers training camp.

Shaw's second goal was set up by Garrett Wilson and Greg McKegg at the 9:46 mark.

The Bears tied the tilt six minutes later when Jakub Vrana bagged a power-play tally. The goal was assisted by Chris Bourque and Carter Camper.

Portland struck the decisive blow late in the third period, with 1:08 remaining in regulation time. Wade Megan got the game-winner with defensemen Cameron Gaunce and Regner collecting the helpers.

Mike McKenna stopped 24 shots to get the win and even his record at 1-1, while Justin Peters took the loss, finishing with 21 saves.

Portland 5, Hershey 2

The Pirates completed the quick weekend sweep with a 5-2 win over the Bears on Sunday.

Veteran Rob Schremp got the game's first goal on the power play at 16:32 of the opening period. MacKenzie Weegar and Shane Harper picked up the assists.

Kyle Rau notched his second of the season at 1:11 from Wayne Simpson to make it 2-0, Pirates.

Schremp lit the lamp for the second time midway through the frame with the assists going to Cameron Gaunce and Harper. It was his third goal in the first three games.

Hershey's Paul Carey beat Sam Brittain, from Carter Camper and Dustin Gazley, at 15:20 to stop the bleeding and pull the Bears within two goals.

Rau bagged his second goal of the game just 2:33 later to put Portland back on top to by three. The goal was set up by Mike Matheson and Simpson.

Riley Barber tallied for the Bears early in the third period with the assists going to Travis Boyd and Connor Carrick.

The Pirates completed the scoring when John McFarland converted a penalty shot at 16:43.

Brittain finished with 17 saves to win his first start of the campaign. Former Panther goaltender Dan Ellis took the loss. Ellis ended the game with 23 stops on 28 shots.

Portland is off until Friday when they host the Albany Devils at Cross Insurance Arena.