BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Portland Pirates couldn’t have worked much harder Sunday, couldn’t have brought more energy to their third game in three nights.

All they could have done was score a few more goals. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers scored twice in the third period to beat the Pirates 3-1 at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

“That game had a high level of compete to it,” Pirates Coach Kevin Dineen said. “It was back and forth.”

With perhaps a bit of bad luck costing them late, the Pirates lost their third game of the weekend.

They enter their one-week Christmas break five points behind first-place Manchester in the Atlantic Division.

Luke Adam scored Portland’s goal 25 seconds after Bridgeport’s Micheal Haley scored on a power play in the middle of the first period.

The goalies, David Leggio of Portland and the Sound Tigers’ Kevin Poulin, kept it tied until the game-winner bounced in off Jeremy Colliton’s skate 4:17 into the third.

“It was just a scramble,” Colliton said. “I felt something hit my skate. I didn’t see if it was a skate, the puck, or what. I went into the (celebration) pile, and (Josh Bailey) said, ‘Did that go off you?’ I’ll take it.”

Leggio shouldn’t be blamed much on that score or any of Bridgeport’s goals; he made 30 saves.

It was a second solid start in a row for Leggio (9-3), who hadn’t made it to the second period in his previous two starts.

“He’s played some good hockey, actually, all year,” Dineen said. “He wasn’t great in training camp, but he actually came back and is building a really solid resume of hockey games right now. (Sunday) was no different.”

The insurance goal was a screened Brandon Svendsen shot from the left point, and it may have hit a defender on the way in.

Haley finished off a five-man passing play for a power-play goal 9:26 into the game for Bridgeport’s first goal.

That set off Bridgeport’s “Teddy Bear Toss” as fans threw hundreds of stuffed toys onto the ice to be distributed at local hospitals. The teams waited around five minutes while the donations were collected.

The Pirates needed less than half a minute to tie the game. Poulin stopped Tim Conboy’s point shot, but Mark Mancari chipped the rebound to the left side of the net, where Adam had plenty of room to score his 12th goal.

Poulin, Bridgeport’s standout rookie goalie, made a couple of big saves late in the period on Mancari and — diving left-to-right — Marc-Andre Gragnani. Poulin finished with 26 stops.

The Pirates scored only five goals in this weekend’s three games.

“We can create more from the point,” Dineen said. “We’ve really worked hard to get shots through (from the blue line), rather than getting it back down the boards and having to start over again.”

Alex Biega was the healthy scratch on defense for the Pirates.