HERSHEY, Pa. — The Portland Pirates believed they could close out the Hershey Bears in the best-of-five AHL Atlantic Division semifinals Saturday night and move on to face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

But it just didn’t happen.

The Pirates managed just 19 shots on goal and were shut out 2-0, evening the series at two games apiece.

Portland and Hershey will meet in the deciding Game 5 at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Giant Center.

The Pirates were shut out for the first time since Feb. 5, when they lost 5-0 to Hartford.

Portland had only four shots in each of the first two periods as Hershey’s backchecking and overall defense proved the difference.

“We played like we had the series already won,” said Portland Coach Scott Allen. “They played like a desperate hockey … team that was on the ropes. They responded well. We were obviously concerned early and we talked to them about it. Actions speak louder than words and their actions were the difference.”

Hershey goalie Justin Peters, who made 44 saves in a 2-1 triple-overtime loss Thursday, had a much easier night.

“This might have been the easiest game (Peters) ever played,” said Allen. “We gave them the game that they wanted from us. They summed up everything that we had talked about coming into this game.”

The 103-minute, 10-second marathon Thursday night was the longest game in Pirates history.

Hershey took a 1-0 lead when Travis Boyd scored his first playoff goal, taking a cross-ice pass from Jakub Vrana and beating goalie Mike McKenna in the slot with a wrist shot at 12:51 of the first period.

Hershey started the game as the aggressor, taking six shots in the first seven minutes. Dylan Olsen of Portland delivered a jarring hit to Aaron Ness of Hershey in the opening minutes that dropped him to the ice and stirred both teams.

McKenna, who finished with 26 saves after a stellar 41-save effort in Game 3, made three big stops in the period, when Hershey held a 13-4 advantage in shots.

The Pirates’ best chance came from Conner Brickley, whose shot from the slot was saved between Peters’ pads.

The Bears took a 2-0 lead when Chris Bourque fired a shot on a power play from the top of the slot that apparently hit several sticks on its way past McKenna at 16:23 of the first. Jonathan Racine of Portland was off for interference at 15:10.

It was only Hershey’s second power-play goal of the series. The Bears went 0 of 7 in Game 3 and entered the game 1 of 14 overall.

In the final period, the Pirates tried to generate offense but again were stymied.

They managed one shot on their lone power-play advantage and their best opportunity came from Mike Matheson, who was stopped by Peters in front of the net with just over 13 minutes to play.

Portland called a timeout with 2:24 remaining and pulled McKenna for an extra skater. But the Pirates managed one shot over the next 1:14 before McKenna returned to the nets for the final 1:10.

Allen knows that none of his players have been in a winner-take-all playoff game, and he envisioned the scenario.

“I expected it to be this kind of series,” he said. “It’s win or go home and we have to be ready.”

NOTES: The Pirates will face a Game 5 playoff situation for the second consecutive season. Last year they lost to Manchester, 5-3, in the best-of-five opening series.