PORTLAND - The Portland Pirates fell in a shootout 2-1 to the Worcester Sharks at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Harri Sateri was the star for Worcester, stopping 37 of 38 Portland shots, while Pirates goaltender Chad Johnson made his first start since February 15th and stopped 31 of 32 for Portland.
There were only two penalties in the opening period between the bitter division rivals, with the Pirates picking up both. Mathieu Brodeur was sent off for roughing just 57 seconds into the game but the Pirates' penalty kill, ranked 7th in the AHL, was up to the task. However, the Sharks struck on their second power play, as Sebastian Stalberg picked up a rebound in front for his eighth of the season and a 1-0 Sharks lead. Pirates' starter Chad Johnson made 13 of 14 saves in the opening frame, but the Pirates trailed 1-0 after the first.
Phil Lane evened the game early in the second. Lane finished off a 3 on 1 chance, taking a pass from fellow rookie Darian Dziurzynski for his eighth of the season at 4:19 of the second. The goal was Lane's fourth in as many games. Dziurzynski had another scoring chance later in the period, flying passed the Worcester defense and drawing a tripping penalty on Nick Petrecki. The Pirates were unable to capitalize on that power play, or three other power play chances in the period.
Szwarz came close to solving Sateri in the third, ringing a shot off the post midway through the third. The play would be reviewed, but it was ruled that the puck never crossed the line. Sateri was able to get enough of a Brendan Shinnimin power play bid with a little over five minutes remaining, sending the shot just by the goal post. Regulation ended with the Pirates leading in shots 38-27.
The Pirates were forced to kill off a Maxim Goncharov interference call with 2:06 left in the overtime period. Despite a frantic two minutes, the game would go to a shootout, as Chad Johnson and the Pirates penalty kill stood strong for the duration of the extra frame. All five Portland shooters were unable to score on Sateri, while Marek Viedensky roofed a shot over Johnson to give the Sharks a shootout win, his third goal in as many games.
The Sharks improve to 26-22-1-5 while Harri Sateri is 11-11-2-1. The Pirates fall to 31-19-1-2 while Chad Johnson falls to 14-10-0-1 in his first appearance since February 15th due to injury.
The Pirates get back to action tomorrow afternoon as they embark on a 2 game road trip, the first of which is against the first place Providence Bruins.