Riley Barber and Jakub Vrena scored third-period goals as the Hershey Bears skated to a 3-1 win to pull even in their Calder Cup series Saturday night with the Portland Pirates before a crowd of 5,097 at Cross Insurance Arena.

The Pirates, who won 6-4 Friday night in Portland, must win 2 of 3 at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania next week to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“These two-three formats are tough,” Hershey Coach Troy Mann said. “You really play 76 games to get home-ice advantage. Even though you get the extra game, it’s not really home-ice advantage. We wanted to come in here and get the split. We played much better tonight.”

“Tonight was closer to playoff hockey, what you expect playoff hockey to be,” Portland Coach Scott Allen said. “It was a tight game.”

Play resumes Thursday in the best-of-five series. Game 4 will be played Saturday and Game 5, if necessary, is scheduled for next Sunday.

Hershey beat the Pirates in both of its home meetings this season, a two-game set in November.

On Saturday, Hershey took a 2-1 lead less than two minutes into the third period when Barber put a shot from near the bottom of the left circle off the near post for a power-play goal.

“It was a 1-1 game going into the third period,” Allen said. “We needed a big penalty kill and we didn’t get it.”

With more than 11 minutes left, Vrena completed the scoring when he swept in a rebound from the slot with his back to the net for his second playoff goal after goalie Mike McKenna stopped Barber’s shot from the right side.

“Did I think we were going to sweep them? Not a chance,” Allen said. “That is an outstanding hockey team over there. They’ve got a lot of guys who have gone through the grind of winning championships at this level, so they weren’t going to be spooked by losing the first game. They played a solid game tonight.”

Both teams scored in the second period.

Garret Mitchell of Hershey opened the scoring less than two minutes in on a low shot from the left faceoff dot for his first playoff goal.

The rest of the second period belonged to the Pirates, who held a 14-4 edge in shots.

With less than two minutes left in the period, defenseman Sena Acolatse put in a shot from the right circle for his first playoff goal. It came after work by Connor Brickley and Chase Balisy, who hustled in to beat a defender to the puck near the end board to the left of the goal. Brickley joined the battle and carried the puck behind the right side of the net before laying a perfect centering pass to Acolatse, who was cutting diagonally across the circle.

“We know we don’t come by goals easily. (Hershey) is much more gifted offensively than we are, but I still love our team,” Allen said. “I still love the way we play. We give ourselves a chance every night when we play that way.”

NOTES: Veteran left wing Chris Bourque, son of NHL Hall Of Famer Ray Bourque, had a goal and an assist while playing six games for the Pirates in 2005 following his lone season at Boston University. … Bourque’s younger brother, Ryan, who played for the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League before turning pro, skated on the Bears’ fourth line. …. Defenseman Matt MacKenzie, who had two assists for Portland in Game 1, didn’t suit up Saturday.