Comets blaze to fast start in 5-2 win over Pirates

Portland's three-game winning streak comes to halt in Utica.

After winning the first three of a seven-game road trip, the Portland Pirates were dumped 5-2 by the Utica Comets Wednesday night at Memorial Auditorium.

The Comets got first period goals from Joseph LaBate and Chris Higgins, and Alexandre Grenier scored a second period marker as Utica built an insurmountable 3-0 lead.

Wade Megan (7) pulled one back for the Pirates with a shorthanded tally 6:52 into the third period. It was Megan's third shorthanded goal of the season, tying him for the AHL lead with five other players.

Comets' defenseman Jon Landry answered with a power-play goal and Hunter Shinkaruk put home an even-strength marker to put the home team up by four. Grenier drew assists on both third period goals to finish with three points.

Tyler Sikura (1) lit the lamp in his second game with Portland after signing a PTO to complete the scoring. Sikura's goal was set up by Chase Balisy and MacKenzie Weegar. The 23-year-old Sikura had been playing for the ECHL's Toledo Walleye before joining the Pirates after Greg McKegg was recalled by the Florida Panthers.

Mike McKenna took the loss, finishing with 26 saves. Joe Cannata made 33 stops to post his 14th win for the Comets.

Portland (29-19-1) will face the Rochester Americans on Friday night.