PORTLAND – Marc-Antoine Pouliot capped a tremendous Norfolk comeback by scoring the only goal during a shootout Saturday night to lift the Admirals to a 4-3 win against the Portland Pirates.

The Admirals rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to pull off their fourth win in their last five games before 5,154 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

“We had plenty of chances down at their end of the ice,” Portland Coach Kevin Dineen said. “We got into a little bit of an exchange, chance for chance. It’s a fun game to play, but we feel that was an expensive point for us.”

The Pirates, who suffered their third setback in the last four games, looked like they were sailing to an easy win after building a 3-0 lead 17 minutes into the game.

“We got some good offensive looks, and I thought we minimized theirs in the first period,” Dineen said.

But the Admirals outshot the Pirates 32-22 during the final two periods of regulation to get back into the contest.

Mike Angelides, who had two goals and three assists Friday night in a 7-2 win at Manchester, sent the game into overtime when he scored with 33 seconds left in the third period.

The Pirates got off to a fast start, scoring their goals during a seven-minute span.

Less than 10 minutes in, Paul Byron stuck a backhander past goalie Cedrick Desjardins after stick-handling his way across the front of the crease. Marc-Andre Gragnani’s centering pass from the left corner set up the goal.

Four minutes later, defense-man T.J. Brennan finished off a three-on-two rush, lifting his third goal of the season into the right side of the net.

With less than four minutes left in the period, Byron poked a rebound into the right side of the net for his seventh goal of the season.

With Travis Turnbull and Mark Parrish out for extended periods because of injuries, Gragnani, a veteran defenseman, was moved to left wing on a line with Byron and rookie right wing Corey Tropp.

“It doesn’t help,” Dineen said. “He’s a veteran player (on defense), and we need higher-end plays out of our backside. It was the same problem we had last weekend. It’s things we talked about and tried to address. We’re taking some expensive lessons here now.”

Less than a minute into the second period, Blair Jones made it 3-1 when he reached around defenseman Tim Conboy and swept the puck inside the far post for his team-high ninth goal.

Chris Durno, who played 13 games for the Pirates during the 2006-07 season, cut the deficit to 3-2 with a power-play goal with less than four minutes left in regulation.

Desjardins, who was credited with 36 saves, stopped all five Portland attempts during the shootout. Jhonas Enroth, who made 43 saves, stopped everyone but Pouliot, who has spent parts of five seasons in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers.

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

[email protected]