Sharks gutted by Pirates

Chris Conner of the Portland Pirates slides a backhanded shot past Worcester Sharks goalie Alex Stalock early in the first period Friday night. - John Patriquin of Pressherald.com

11 different skaters had a point for the Worcester Sharks but it wasn't enough as they were defeated 7-4 by the Portland Pirates Friday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Portland, ME.

Freddie Hamilton registered his first two professional assists, Sebastian Stalberg scored his team leading third goal of the season, and Alex Stalock stopped 22-of-29 shots for the Sharks, who have now lost 11 consecutive road games and fell to 0-2-0-1.

The Pirates took an early 1-0 lead at 1:52 on a shorthanded goal by Brett Hextall, who ripped a shot into an open net from the right face-off circle after Pirates captain Alexandre Bolduc intercepted a pass by Stalock on the right side. The goal was Hextall's first of the season.

Chris Conner extended the Pirates lead to 2-0 with his first goal of the season at 4:19 after sliding a backhanded shot past Stalock on the glove side off a breakaway that was set up when Sharks defenseman Mikael Tam got checked into the Pirates bench and was held down on the bench by Pirates alternate captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Stalberg cut the Pirates lead in half with a power play goal at 11:39 as he beat Pirates goalie Mark Visentin through the pads with a rocket of a shot from on top of the face-off circles after taking a centering feed from Matt Tennyson. Matt Irwin was credited with the secondary assist.

Sena Acolatse tied the game at 14:01 with a power play goal, his first goal of the season, after rushing down the left side, cutting in front and snapping off a quick backhanded shot that went off of Visentin's glove and into the net. Jon Matsumoto and Stalock were credited with the assists.

Yanni Gourde put the Sharks up 3-2 at 14:45 with his second goal of the season after deflecting home a centering feed in front from Hamilton, who had rushed into the Pirates zone down the right side. Bracken Kearns was credited with the secondary assist.

Just 24 seconds later, Ekman-Larsson tied the game with a power play goal, his second goal of the season, by slamming home a loose rebound in front of the Sharks net off a shot from the point by Chris Brown.

In the second period, the Pirates regained the lead at 2:31 as Conner broke up the middle of the ice, got past Irwin and Tennyson, went forehand-to-backhand and slid the puck past Stalock for his second goal of the game.

Taking advantage of a tired Sharks line on the ice, Bolduc fired a shot over the left should of Stalock from in-between the face-off circles at 9:20 to extend the Pirates lead to 5-3. The goal was Bouldcu's first of the season.

Tim Kennedy pulled the Sharks to within a goal at 13:42 when he roofed a shot past Visentin from in tight on the left side of the slot off a broken play for his first goal of the season. Hamilton and Sharks captain John McCarthy were credited with the assists.

Ekman-Larsson put the Pirates back up by two goals at 17:11 with his second goal of the game off a wrist shot from in front that Stalock had a hard time seeing as Brown and Tennyson were battling in front for positioning.

On a power play late in the third period, Andy Miele deflected home a centering feed on the glove side of Stalock at 16:56 to seal the Pirates victory. The goal was Miele's second of the season.

NOTES: Shots were 29-29... The Sharks went 2-for-6 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill... The AHL made a scoring change in the Oct. 13 game against the Norfolk Admirals as the secondary assist on the James Sheppard goal was credited to Kearns, which was originally credited to Hamilton... Tam made his professional debut for the Sharks after being called up from the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL on Wednesday afternoon... Stalock extended his point streak to two games (0-2-2) while Irwin extended his to three games (0-4-4)... This was the first of 12 meetings between the teams this season... Jimmy Bonneau (susp), Brodie Reid (inj), Danny Groulx (inj), Taylor Doherty (inj), Curt Gogol (scr), Daniil Tarasov (scr) and Marek Viedensky (scr) did not dress for the Sharks.

Three Stars:
1. Chris Conner - Pirates (2-2-4)
2. Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Pirates (2-1-3)
3. Alexandre Bolduc - Pirates (1-1-2)

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