PORTLAND — The Portland Pirates came back from a three-goal deficit to pull out a 4-3 win against the Connecticut Whale before a sell-out New Year’s Eve crowd at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Ethan Werek put in a backhander for his sixth goal of the season to snap a 3-3 tie with 7:56 left to play.

Connecticut opened up a 3-0 lead during the first 23 minutes of the game on goals by Brandon Segal, Mike Haley and Tommy Grant.

Defensemen Mathieu Brodeur and Chris Summers scored the first two goals for the Pirates during the final 1:20 of the second period to make it 3-2, and Jordan Szwarz forged a 3-3 tie when he tipped in Michael Stone’s shot for his second goal of the season on a power play.