WORCESTER, Mass. — Don’t write off the Portland Pirates just yet in their quest for a spot in the Calder Cup playoffs.

Andy Miele’s goal at 14:47 of the third period broke a tie and lifted the Pirates a 5-3 victory Friday night over the Worcester Sharks.

Miele redirected a pass from Ryan Duncan past Harri Sateri for a 4-3 lead, and Brett Sterling scored into an empty with 15 seconds left.

Portland pulled into a tie with Adirondack for ninth place in the AHL’s Eastern Conference with 72 points. The Pirates are one point behind Manchester for the last playoff berth.

“It was good for our team to come back and get this win, so we’re real excited about it,” Miele said.

“The best time of the year is playoff hockey. Fighting for a playoff spot is a lot of fun, especially if you earn it.

“Tonight, we earned that win, so we’re pretty excited.”

So was Portland Coach Ray Edwards.

“We had to have a good effort tonight,” Edwards said. “I didn’t like our first 20 minutes. I thought we were light. But our guys responded and competed much harder in the second and third.

“I thought there was a turning point in the second period where we started to get our momentum back. We ended up getting two (quick) goals, and (then) they tied it up. But we hung in there and stuck with the game plan.”

Miele’s goal was of the textbook variety.

“Andy’s goal by going to the net was huge for us,” Edwards said. “It was a methodical game at that point and we were just trying to be smart, and he scored a big one for us.”

Worcester appeared to be on the verge of blowing the game open when Matt Irwin scored on a slap shot from the right point during a power play at 1:02 of the second period to take a 2-0 lead. But Portland countered with three straight goals.

Brett McLean beat Sateri (31 saves) with a slap shot from the right circle just nine seconds after Irwin’s goal.

Portland tied it with a power-play goal at 15:51 when Tyler Eckford buried the rebound of a Miele shot.

Kenndal McArdle then gave Portland its first lead of the game when he stuffed home the rebound of an Ashton Rome shot at 16:01.

Worcester led 1-0 after the first period, but the margin could have been larger were it not for Portland goalie Peter Mannino, who stopped three dangerous shots in the first 23 seconds. He finished with 24 saves.

Worcester’s goal came at 8:33, when Tony Lucia threw the puck in front and Brodie Reid stuffed it in.

“This was a huge win for us,” Miele said. “They’re always a tough team to play against. As they showed tonight, they’re a big, physical team. But we hung tough and came back.”