PORTLAND, ME – The Manchester Monarchs scored four goals in the third period to trounce the Portland Pirates 5-1 in front of 6,163 fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (38-16-6-1) is leading the Atlantic Division with 83 points. Portland (25-22-3-8) ranks sixth in the Atlantic Division with 61 points.
Goaltender Barry Brust kept the scoreboard 0-0 through the first period by stopping a penalty shot by Pirates forward Drew Miller.
Left wing Matt Moulson scored his 16th goal of the season on the power play to break the scoreless game at 17:02 of the second period. Center Gabe Gauthier battled behind the net and tossed the puck out in front of the net. Moulson picked up the loose puck and snapped a wrist shot over netminder Gerald Coleman's right shoulder.
Gauthier doubled the Monarchs lead to 2-0 at 3:48 of the third period with his 13th tally of the season. Moulson fed the puck over to Gauthier who was streaking toward the net from the right face-off circle. Gauthier's one-timer snuck past Coleman for the second goal of the night.
The Monarchs quickly made it 3-0 as defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky collected his first goal of the season at 6:14 of the final stanza. Center Marty Murray sent the puck to Tverdovsky at the right point. The veteran defenseman's slap shot traveled through traffic and by Coleman into the net.
The Pirates ended Brust's shutout bid at 14:01 of the third period when defenseman Greg Amadio scored his first tally of the season. Amadio was stationed at the right point and sent a blistering slap shot over Brust's right shoulder for the goal. Right wing Matt Keith and defenseman Brian Salcido earned assists on the Pirates lone goal of the game.
Murray scored his ninth of the season at 16:26 of the final frame. Tverdovsky played catch with defenseman T.J. Kemp before tossing the puck on net from the center point. Murray was on the right doorstep to flip in the rebound and give the Monarchs a 4-1 lead.
The Monarchs scored their fifth goal of the night 18 seconds following Murray's goal. Left wing Noah Clarke recorded his team leading 21st goal of the season at 16:44 of the third period by flipping in the rebound from Tverdovsky's shot. Defenseman Peter Harrold also earned an assist on the tally.
Brust earned the win with 27 saves. Coleman took the loss by stopping 24-of-29.
Manchester went 3-for-7 on the power play. Portland was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.