|Corey Elkins scored his team-leading 16th goal of the season.
PORTLAND, ME – The Manchester Monarchs were topped by the Portland Pirates with a shootout goal by right wing Mark Mancari, a 3-2 shootout loss at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Tuesday night.
Manchester (27-14-2-5) remains in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division with 61 points. Portland (22-16-5-2) rank fifth in the Atlantic Division with 51 points.
Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped three shootout snipers but could not contain defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani and Mancari. Pirates netminder Jhonas Enroth stopped 4-of-5 shooters in the shootout. Center Gabe Gauthier was the only Monarchs player to score in the shootout.
The Monarchs jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 19:14 of the first period with left wing Richard Clune’s third goal of the season. Left wing Bud Holloway gathered the puck behind the Pirates net while fighting off several defenders. The winger fed the puck out to the hash marks to right wing John Zeiler who one-timed the puck along the ice toward the net. Enroth flashed his right pad to save the puck and sent the rebound to Clune who backhanded it into the net.
At the 14:10-mark of the second period, left wing Brad Larsen tallied his fifth goal of the season tying the game at 1-1. Mancari held off a couple of Monarchs defenders to the right of Bernier. Mancari sent the puck out into the slot where Larsen was positioned. The Pirates winger fired off a wrist shot that beat Bernier on his glove side. Left wing Jeff Cowan picked up an assist on the tying goal.
Center Travis Turnbull recorded his fourth goal of the season only 2:16 later to give the Pirates a 2-1 advantage. Defenseman Mike Kostka took a shot from the right point which Bernier made a right pad save sending the puck to Turnbull on the right doorstep. Turnbull buried the rebound to give the Monarchs the advantage on the power play. Defenseman Dennis Persson assisted on the go ahead goal.
Monarchs center Corey Elkins tied the game up at 2-2 with a 5-on-3 power play goal at 17:42 of the middle frame. Gauthier held the puck behind the net before he found Elkins on the left doorstep of the Pirates cage. The Monarchs leading scorer one-timed the puck under Enroth’s glove to tie the game 2-2. Center Tom Cavanagh assisted on Elkins’ team leading 16th goal of the season.
Bernier (19-11-5) took his fifth shootout loss of the season stopping 33-of-35 shots in regulation and three shootout snipers. Enroth (16-14-1) picked up his 16th win of the season with 24 saves in regulation and four shootout saves.
Manchester was a 1-for-4 on the power play. Portland was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.
Notables: Manchester is winless in their last three road games (0-1-1-1)…Center Corey Elkins has recorded eight points (5-3=8) in his last six games for a new point streak record this season…Elkins scored his seventh power play of the season, which is tied for sixth place in the AHL…Center Gabe Gauthier has four points (3-1=4) in his last four games.