The Portland Pirates scored in just about every situation imaginable Sunday afternoon to skate to a 4-2 win against the Springfield Falcons at Cross Insurance Arena.

The Pirates got a short-handed goal, a power-play goal, an even-strength goal and an empty-netter to retain their hold on third place in the Eastern Conference and snap the Falcons’ two-game winning streak.

“We hit for the cycle, and that was big,” Portland Coach Scott Allen said. “Unfortunately, we gave up a short-handed goal against.”

It was just the second win for the Pirates in their last six games, but they’ve earned at least a point in seven of their last nine.

The Pirates were 1 for 5 on the power play and killed off all four Springfield power plays, including a two-man disadvantage in the first period.

“I thought our special-teams play was the difference in the game today,” Allen said.


Portland’s penalty killing was tested early.

A tripping penalty against Rocco Grimaldi and a high-sticking call against Brett Olson gave the Falcons a five-on-three advantage less than seven minutes into the game. But Pirates center Wade Megan stole the puck in the neutral zone right after the call against Olson and beat everyone down the ice. He took a shot from just above the hash marks that slipped under the pads of goalie Josh Robinson for his eighth goal of the season.

“I don’t know how often you see a five-on-three short-handed goal,” Allen said. “(Megan) is playing outstanding hockey for us right now.”

It was the fourth short-handed goal of the season for Megan, tying him for the American Hockey League lead with Zach Hyman of the Toronto Marlies.

“He cares about keeping the puck out of own end first,” Allen said. “He knows his responsibility is to not let them score. Anything after that is gravy.”

The Pirates limited Springfield to two shots during the 51-second, two-man advantage.


Eric Selleck, one of nine former Pirates on the Springfield roster, made it 1-1 early in the second period when he finished a rush with a rising shot from the top of the right circle that eluded the grasp of Portland goalie Mike McKenna.

The Pirates regained the lead, however, on Connor Brickley’s fourth goal of the season, just 1:11 into the third. Using a defender for a screen, Brickley put in a shot from the top of the right circle.

Grimaldi got the eventual winner at 7:58, on a shot from the left circle during a Portland power play.

Springfield’s Jordan Szwarz, another former Pirate, finished off a two-on-one break at 10:59 to make it 3-2, but Grimaldi put the game out of reach with his empty-net goal from center ice with 1:05 remaining.

NOTES: Springfield defensemen Philip Samuelsson, Dylan Reese and Justin Hache, right wing Phil Lane, left wing Henrik Samuelsson and centers Brendan Shinnimin and Laurent Dauphin also suited up last season for the Pirates in their final season as the AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes. … The Pirates are 5-2 against the Falcons this season, outscoring them 28-15. The teams play five more times. … The announced attendance was 3,955.

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