Portland, ME – With the only three games remaining in the regular season, the Portland Pirates (40-26-5-2) punched their ticket to the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs with a thrilling 3-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack (39-31-3-0) Sunday at Cross Insurance Arena
Logan Shaw put away his second goal of the game breaking a 2-2 tie with 3:55 left in the third period to win the game for the Pirates. Connor Brickley released the initial shot on Magnus Hellberg, but the rebound found Shaw’s stick and the forward quickly snapped the puck into the back of the net.
Shaw dazzled the Wolf Pack scoring his first of the night shorthanded. Corban Knight played the puck off the right-wing boards to Shaw and after Hellberg shut the door on his initial shot, Shaw jammed in the rebound to give Portland the 2-1 lead at 16:15 of the second period.
That lead wouldn’t last long, as just 26 seconds later, Mat Bodie sent the puck to the front of the net and backhanded a Chris Brown pass through Sam Brittain’s legs. Marek Hrivik collected the other assist on the goal at 16:41 of the second period.
The Wolf Pack held a 1-0 lead after the first period after Jayson Megna tipped the puck to center ice to ignite an Adam Tambellini and Chad Nehring 2-on-1. After feathering the puck to Nehring, Tambellini drove the net and snapped Nehring’s return pass into the net stick side of Brittain.
Hartford help on to the lead until the 13:26 mark of the second period when Shane Harper scored the equalizer for the Pirates. Kyle Rau released the initial shot but as the goaltender dove to his right in an attempt to cover the puck, Harper jarred it free and shoved it between the net minder and goal post.
The 3-2 victory is the fifth win in the last six games for the Pirates. Hartford saw their two-game winning streak snapped.
Sam Brittain turned aside 17 shots to bring the Gorham Saves for Charity total to $9,750 so far this season. With the win Brittain’s record improves to 8-10-2-on the season.
Hellburg made 29 shots but takes the loss dropping to 29-19-3 on the season.