Longtime nemesis Tim Kennedy did it again Saturday night.

Kennedy, a veteran center who gave the Portland Pirates fits when he played for the Worcester Sharks and the Hartford Wolf Pack, stuck the puck inside the right post 5:42 into overtime to lift the high-flying Hershey Bears to a 4-3 win against the Pirates before a crowd 3,522 at Cross Insurance Arena.

With the victory, the Bears – in a race with Manchester for the overall AHL lead – finished a six-game road trip with a sweep of its two games against the Pirates, with the winning goal coming in overtime in both games.

The Pirates did manage to salvage a point to remain in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, a point ahead of the Springfield Falcons, who currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot.

“It wasn’t the game we need to play,” Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. “We were loose defensively, turning pucks over. (We) made some defensive-zone mistakes.”

The game was a run-and-gun affair that saw the teams takes a total 88 shots on goal.

“It was an exciting game for the fans,” Edwards said. “Not great for the coaches. It was fun hockey to watch. Pretty stressful for coaches, though.”

The Pirates held a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period. With less than two minutes left, Brandon Shinnimin turned a nifty feed from Jordan Martinook into the first of his two goals.

Portland held a 16-6 edge in shots during the first period, but the Bears came to life during the second period, compiling a 21-8 edge in shots.

Chris Brown, who spent two seasons with the Pirates, made it 1-1 less than four minutes in when he scored his 16th goal on a shot from just above the left hash mark during Hershey’s first power play.

The Bears moved into a 2-1 lead less than four minutes into the third period when left wing Liam O’Brien went to his backhand and lifted a knuckleball of a shot from the left circle inside the near post for his second goal of the season.

With less than nine minutes left, Shinnimin tied the score with his team-high 17th goal.

Two minutes later, Swedish rookie center Andre Burakovsky finished off a rush with his second goal in as many games to send Hershey back into the lead.

With three minutes left in regulation, defenseman Patrick McNeil, who has missed most of the season because of an injury, made it 3-3 when he put in a rebound from the right circle after Copley had stopped a shot by Jordan Szwarz.

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