LEWISTON – Tim Kennedy came back to haunt the Portland Pirates again Wednesday night.
Kennedy, who spent the 2008-09 season with the Pirates when they were affiliated with the Buffalo Sabres, scored his fifth goal of the season to snap a tie with less than eight minutes left to propel the Worcester Sharks to a 4-2 victory at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
Kennedy’s winning goal came less than a minute after James Sheppard of Worcester scored his second goal of the season to forge a 2-2 tie.
Two seasons ago, when he played for the old Hartford Wolf Pack, Kennedy, a 26-year-old center, scored two game-winning goals in less than 10 days against the Pirates.
But Kennedy said his penchant for scoring game-winning goals against his old team has less to do with him and more to do with the team he’s playing for now.
“Toward the end of last year we had a really heated rivalry,” said Kennedy, who came to the Sharks in a trade from the Florida Panthers’ organization midway through last season.
“The last two games got really chippy. There are some guys who have changed but it’s mostly the same two teams so I think it carried over. It’s the same coaches, so that brings a little something, too. I don’t know about them but we really get up to play these guys.”
It was the third of 12 games between the teams this season.
On Oct. 19, the Pirates skated to a 7-4 win against Worcester at the Colisee for their first victory of the season.
Last Friday night, the Sharks scored all of their goals in the third period to pull out a 3-1 victory against the Pirates at Worcester.
“I give (Worcester) a lot of credit,” Pirates Coach Ray Edwards said. “They came in and played a good road game. But again in the third period we had the lead, and we’ve got to find a way to get it done, and we just didn’t get it done.”
The Sharks, who have earned points in eight of their last 10 games after getting off to a 0-3-1 start, held a 25-15 edge in shots in the final 50 minutes.
“I didn’t think we were very good at all tonight,” Edwards said.
“I thought we were soft. When I say soft, I mean we didn’t communicate. What happens when you don’t talk, you don’t know what’s coming, so you’re hesitant. I thought we were hesitant all night.”
The Pirates also went 0 of 6 on the power play.
“We’ve got to get our guys to be more direct,” Edwards said. “We’ve got to move the puck quickly and attack. We’re just hanging onto the puck a little too long.”
Rob Klinkhammer scored two goals for the second time this season to stake the Pirates to a 2-1 lead after the first 38 minutes.
Sebastian Stalberg scored his fifth goal to make it 1-1 less than four minutes into the game.
Matt Irwin added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
It was the first loss of the season at the Colisee for the Pirates, who are playing a total of six games there.
“These folks have been great,” Edwards said. “We didn’t play very well tonight. I thought the first couple of games we played pretty well for them, and hopefully the next time we come out here we can give them a lot better show.”
The game attracted 3,264 fans, which is nearly 600 short of a sellout.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: