Defenseman Dylan Reese scored 2:28 into sudden-death overtime to lift the Portland Pirates to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals in an AHL game Friday night at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Rookie center Tyler Gaudet put the Pirates into position to claim their sixth consecutive win by scoring his sixth goal of the season with 1:17 left in regulation to send the game into OT.

Reese, the trailing player on a two-on-two break took a drop pass from Jordan Szwarz and scored his ninth goal of the season on a shot from between the hash marks while the teams skated four-on-four.

“It was a frustrating game,” Reese said. “We didn’t play well, and we know we didn’t, but part of being a good team is finding a way to win. They were the better team for the majority of the game.”

The Pirates earned at least one point for the seventh consecutive game to pull to within a point of the Providence Bruins in the race for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Eight teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs.

“We hung around,” Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. “Give our guys a lot of credit to just hang in there, and they were able to tie it late and win it in overtime. It was a big boost for us.”


It was the sixth straight loss for the Admirals, mired in the East Divison’s cellar.

“I got to give (Norfolk) a lot of credit,” Edwards said. “We didn’t get much at all. They defended really well. They came in and competed really hard tonight. There was no space out there.”

Gaudet pulled the Pirates even by poking a centering pass from Alexandre Bolduc in between goalie Jason LaBarbera’s pads for his sixth goal of the season after Portland goalie Mike McKenna was pulled for a sixth skater.

“Gaudet came on for the goalie,” Edwards said. “I just said ‘go to the net’ and he went to the net, and Dukie found him.”

Norfolk carried a 1-0 lead into the third period.

The Admirals took advantage of a turnover to open the scoring 11 minutes into the second period. When center Justin Hodgman and defenseman Joel Hanley knocked each other off the puck in front of the Portland goal, right wing Louis Leblanc rushed in and sent a shot from just beneath the hash marks between McKenna’s pads for his 12th goal of the season.


The Admirals, saddled with a five-game losing streak coming in to the game, tried to get an early jump on the Pirates.

During the first six minutes, McKenna, making his 40th start in the Portland net, averaged a save-per-minute. Less than five minutes in, he flashed his glove to rob center Rocco Carzo, who tried to lift in a rebound. It was Carzo’s first AHL shift after spending his first three seasons in the ECHL.

At the other end of the ice, LaBarbera stopped Lucas Lessio on a breakaway with less than eight minutes left in the opening period to keep the game scoreless.

NOTES: With their assists on Gaudet’s goal, Bolduc and right wing Henrik Samuelsson extended their points streaks to four games … Announced attendance was 3,004.

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