HERSHEY, Pa. — The Portland Pirates completed a weekend sweep Sunday, improving their playoff position in the process.

Portland beat Hersey 5-1 for its third win in as many days and fifth straight overall. With the sweep, the Pirates (33-22-3-1) gained six points and moved into a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with Springfield.

The Pirates scored five goals in each of their three road wins, beating Syracuse 5-2 on Friday night and Lehigh Valley 5-4 on Saturday.

On Sunday, five players scored for the Pirates, who got a pair of power-play goals and outshot Hershey 35-24, including 27-15 in the final two periods.

Hershey (36-16-5-2), which leads the Eastern Division and is tied for first in the Eastern Conference, dominated the first five minutes of the game and took a 1-0 lead when Stanislav Galiev scored his team-leading 23rd goal of the season, on a power play at 3:02. Galiev beat Pirates goalie David Leggio to the glove side with a blast from the left faceoff circle. Andre Burakovsky and Chris Conner assisted on the goal.

Hershey outshot Portland 5-0 during the power play and controlled play early.

But Portland recovered from the slow start to score twice and take the lead late in the first period.

Dylan Reese tied the game for Portland when he picked up a loose puck just inside the blue line, charged toward the net and beat Hershey goalie Phillip Grubauer from about 10 feet at 13:07.

Portland went on the power play less than a minute later and took advantage when Joel Hanley collected a pass across the crease from Henrik Samuelsson and slammed it home at 15:21.

Leggio turned aside 23 shots and made several key stops in the opening minutes of the game, as well as late in the second period.

“We sure did start slow in the first period and we could have easily been down 2-0 or 3-0,” said Pirates Coach Ray Edwards. “David (Leggio) kept us in the game.

“The last two games before this, we didn’t start slow. We could blame it on the travel, but there are no excuses.

“Overall, we have had three good games and we have been playing in front of some big crowds. It is a real testament to the guys in the locker room. We (have) 15 goals in our last three games and we weren’t scoring that much lately. We counted about 15 to 17 scoring chances for each team through the first two periods and both teams were playing loose, which is typical for a Sunday afternoon.”

The Pirates failed to score on three power-play opportunities in the second period and finished 2 for 7 with the man advantage.

Portland pushed its lead to 3-1 early in the third period. With the team’s playing four-on-four, Justin Hodgman took a nifty backhand pass from Jordan Martinook and fired it past Neubaur at 4:02.

It was Hodgman’s 10th goal of the season.

Philip Samuelsson made it 4-1, scoring 28 second into a power play when he flung a shot between Grubauer’s pads 7:09 into the third. Hodgman and Jordan Szwarz each had an assist.

Martinook later took a cross-ice pass from Alexandre Bolduc on a two-on-one break and beat Grubauer to the stick side for his 14th goal of the season.

NOTES: Philip and Henrik Samuelsson each scored for the second consecutive game. … The Pirates return to Portland for four straight games at the Cross Insurance Arena. They face the Norfolk Admirals at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Norfolk is tied for last place in the Eastern Conference. Hershey is in town on March 20 and March 21.