PORTLAND — Portland let Springfield off the hook not once, not twice, but three times Sunday, and the Falcons made the Pirates pay.

Springfield rallied from two-goal deficits three times during regulation, then held off the Pirates during the five-minute overtime before pulling out a 5-4 shootout win before a crowd of 3,903 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

It was the fifth loss in six games for Portland, the second-place team in the AHL Atlantic Division.

“Our game is not where it needs to be right now,” Portland Coach Kevin Dineen said. “We look like a disorganized bunch. We look like we’re not there to help each other, and there’s a lot of chances that end up going against us because of mistakes that we make.”

The Pirates carried a 4-2 lead into the third period, but they couldn’t hold it.

“A team like that, you’ve got to jump on them early and just get all the confidence out of them,” said Portland defenseman T.J. Brennan. “We didn’t keep going on the gas. We should have come out in the third (period) and really buried them, and we really didn’t do it.”

Viacheslav Trukhno and Rob Hisey each scored less than five minutes apart early in the third period to tie the score, then Springfield goalie J.P. Levasseur, a former Pirate, made four saves during overtime to keep it tied.

Springfield center Chad Wiseman was the only player to score during the shootout.

The Falcons, the last-place team in the Atlantic Division, evened the season series with the Pirates at 3-3.

“It doesn’t matter where you are in the standings,” Dineen said. “You’ve got to come out and perform.

“Unfortunately, we look like we’re gripping it a little too tight, right now. We look like were out of sync. It’s something we’re going to have to address in the next couple days.”

Portland’s Derek Whitmore scored 14 minutes into the game when he put in a shot from the far side of the left circle off the far post for his 15th goal. The wide-angled shot came during a three-on-three break.

Jeff Cowan made it 2-0 on a power play 1:11 into the second by sweeping Paul Byron’s feed from across the goal mouth into the right side for his 18th goal.

At 3:08 of the second, Hisey finished off a four-shot flurry with his ninth goal to pull Springfield to 2-1.

Eight minutes later, Byron made it 3-1 when he sent Kyle Wanwig’s centering pass from behind the left side of the goal inside the near post for his 10th goal.

Springfield’s Chris Armstrong put in a shot from the right point for a power-play goal at 15:12, but with 35 seconds left in the period, Portland regained its two-goal edge when Philip Gogulla put in a wide-angled shot from the right side for his 13th goal.

Levasseur, who played 10 games for the Pirates during the 2007-08 season, made 36 saves, stopping five shots during the shootout to run his season record to 8-13-0-1.

Portland goalie J.P. Lamoureux made all of his 23 saves during regulation.

 

NOTES: A sprained left ankle is expected to keep starting goalie Jhonas Enroth out of the Portland lineup for a minimum of three weeks.

Todd Ford, who played 12 AHL games for the Texas Stars earlier this season, served as Portland’s backup goalie following his call-up from the ECHL’s Carolina Stingrays.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]