PORTLAND, ME – Center Tim Brent scored with less than one-second remaining in the game to lift the Portland Pirates over the Manchester Monarchs 3-2 at the Cumberland County Civic Center in front of a crowd of 3,087 fans on Sunday evening.
Manchester (15-4-1-3, 34 points) and Portland (16-6-2-0, 34 points) are tied for first place in the Atlantic Division.
The Pirates capitalized on their second power play of the game with right wing Pierre Parenteau's first goal of the season in his first game of the season. With Monarchs right wing Konstantin Pushkarev in the box for charging, the Pirates set up in the offensive zone. Right wing Corey Perry fed the puck over to center Ryan Shannon who sent a point-blank shot in on Monarchs goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji for the initial save. The rebound sneaked out behind Fukufuji and Parenteau tapped in the puck for the power play goal and 1-0 Pirates' lead at 16:49 of the first period.
Center Connor James tied the game at 18:27of the first period with his sixth of the season. Left wing Dany Roussin dropped the puck at the Pirates blue line for the streaking James. Skating full speed into the offensive zone, James sent a wrist shot in on Portland's goaltender Nathan Marsters. James' tying goal slid through the legs of Marsters to make it 1-1.
Portland took the lead, 2-1, with a backhander from Perry at 2:51 of the second period. Defenseman Kenny Smith sent a pass over to Perry who skated down the right side, slipped around Monarchs defenseman Doug Nolan and took advantage of the screen in front of Fukufuji for his sixth of the season.
Right wing Brad Smyth collected his 300th American Hockey League goal of his career at 13:41 of the final frame. Center Matt Ryan started the play by sending the puck in deep to the Pirates' zone. Right wing Petr Kanko collected the puck in the near corner and sent a pass to the tape of Smyth's stick who lifted the puck over a diving Marsters to tie the game at 2-2.
Brent scored with less than one-second remaining in the game to give the Pirates a 3-2 victory. With the clock winding down and overtime looming, Brent sent in a rocket from the hash marks to the lower left corner of the net for his ninth of the season and the game-winner at 19:59 of the third period. Defenseman Shane O'Brien collected an assist on the play and Perry collected his third point of the game.
The Pirates victory snapped the Monarchs 13-game unbeaten in regulation streak (10-0-1-2), dating back to November 10.
Fukufuji (1-1-0) took his first loss of the season stopping 35 shots. Marsters (9-3-0) collected his ninth win of the season with 36 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-5 on the power play. Portland was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
The Monarchs will host the Pirates on Friday, December 9 at 7:35 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Returning to the MassMutual Center for the third time this season, the Monarchs will play the Springfield Falcons at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday, December 10.