PORTLAND — The Portland Pirates wanted to finish the regular season on a high note, and they did.

Cody McCormick and Mark Mancari each had a goal and an assist Sunday as the Pirates snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win against the Worcester Sharks before a crowd of 5,779 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

“You don’t want to go into the playoffs on a bad note, and I think we finished it strong,” Mancari said. “We did a great job, and we also got past that 100-point plateau, and that was awesome. It is one thing we wanted to achieve.”

The Pirates finished the regular season with a 45-24-7-4 record, good for 101 points and second place behind the Sharks in the AHL’s Atlantic Division.

Portland will start its best-of-seven first-round playoff series at home Friday against the Manchester Monarchs.

“We slid a little bit the last few games,” Portland defenseman Mike Kostka said. “It was important we went out tonight and got a victory against the No. 1 team in our division.”

The Sharks rested several regulars. John McCarthy, Mike Moore, Frazer McLaren, Ryan Vesce, Dan DaSilva, Derek Joslin and Joe Callahan were healthy scratches for Worcester, which opens the playoffs Thursday night against the Lowell Devils.

The Pirates took control early, building a 3-1 lead in the first period.

“I like the way we scored our goals,” Portland Coach Kevin Dineen said.  “I thought there was some real effort on those.”

Philip Gogulla opened the scoring 3:10 into the game, converting a shot from the slot for his 15th goal of the season after Kyle Rank’s centering pass from the left corner.

It took Worcester defenseman Danny Groulx just 19 seconds to make it 1-1. He put in a shot from the right point for his 14th goal after Kevin Henderson won a faceoff in the right circle.

The Pirates regained the lead at 12:01 when Mancari flipped in his team-high 28th goal after skating through the left circle.    

At 15:33, Felix Schutz swept a rebound inside the right post for his 13th goal.

Rookie Paul Byron made it 4-1 when he poked in a rebound for his 14th goal 7:42 into the second period, during a power play.

Less than five minutes into the third period, McCormick scored his 17th goal after taking the puck away from a defender in front of the Worcester net.

Worcester’s Brandon Mashinter completing the scoring with less than two minutes remaining.

J.P. Lamoureux made 32 saves to snap his personal two-game losing streak.

Former UMaine goalie Frank Doyle stopped 14 of 15 shots after taking over for Worcester starter Alex Slalock midway through the second period.

“We didn’t think we played well on Saturday night,” Dineen said of a 5-2 loss to Lowell at the Civic Center. “We wanted to enjoy this week and set the tone as we move forward (into the playoffs), and I think we accomplished that today.”

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]

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