PORTLAND — The Worcester Sharks skated to their second victory over the Portland Pirates in three days Tuesday night.

Jonathan Cheechoo had a goal and an assist to lead the Sharks to a 4-2 win before 4,896 fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Worcester, which slipped past the Pirates into second place in the Atlantic Division, skated to a 6-4 victory at home Sunday against Portland.

Portland played without Mark Mancari, its leading scorer who was called up to play for the Buffalo Sabres against the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on Tuesday night. He had an assist for the Sabres. Mancari’s absence, coupled with the lost of forwards Mark Parrish and Travis Turnbull to injuries two weeks ago, left the Pirates with only 10 available forwards. Normally, 12 suit up.

“Manpower is always a factor,” said Portland Coach Kevin Dineen, who mixed and matched his players on four forward lines for the entire game.

“There are a lot of special teams out there using a lot of players in the same situations. We ask a lot of our players. We ask them to play with a lot of energy and intensity, and when the gas tank’s not full, it’s hard to do it.”

It was the third consecutive loss for the Pirates.

“We’ve got to keep working,” said the team captain, Matt Ellis.

“That’s the bottom line. We’ve got to work through it. Seasons are full of highs and lows. We’ve hit a spurt here but we’ve got to work through it.

“We can’t fault our effort here tonight. We worked hard but we didn’t get the result, and at the end of the day it’s the result that matters.”

The Pirates opened the scoring 10 minutes into the game when rookie Corey Tropp scored his fourth goal 13 seconds into the first power play of the game.

Later in the first period, the Sharks moved into a 2-1 lead when right wing Dan DaSilva and defenseman Sean Sullivan scored less than a minute apart.

Less than 10 minutes into the second period, Cheechoo, who led the NHL in scoring when he put in 56 goals for the San Jose Sharks in the 2005-06 season, made it 3-1 when he banked in a wide-angled shot from the left side off the stick of defenseman Tim Conboy for his team-high ninth goal.

With 14 minutes remaining in the game, Kevin Henderson of Worcester finished off a two-on-one break by sticking in a rebound into the left side for his fourth goal to make it 4-1.

With less than three minutes left, Ellis stuck in a backhander for his fourth goal on a power play.

Dineen couldn’t fault his team’s effort in suffering its sixth loss in seven games.

“I give them credit,” he said. “They worked hard. They did a great job killing penalties and scored on the power play. We made mistakes that ended up in our net, and we’ve got to stay away from those and get better.”


Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]