ake Muzzin registered a goal and an assist and Jordan Nolan scored the game-winner as the Manchester Monarchs defeated the Portland Pirates 4-2 in an American Hockey League game played today in front 5,487 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Zeiler and Holloway also notched goals for Manchester as their record improved to 40-21-2-6 and moved back into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division.
Luke Adam and Marc-Andre Gragnani tallied goals for Portland as their season long six-game winning streak came to an end. With his goal in the first period, Gragnani set a new Portland franchise record for points by a defenseman in a single season with his 54th, topping Brian Salcido’s mark set during the 2007-08 season. The Pirates record fell to 40-18-5-2 and on the season.
Portland quickly earned a two-goal advantage before the first period was halfway through, as Adam scored unassisted at 5:41 and Gragnani followed with a power-play goal four minutes later. Manchester rounded out the scoring in the opening frame, cutting the deficit in half on Muzzin’s third goal of the season. Zeiler tied the game at two with the only goal of the second period at 11:26, as the Monarchs outshot the Pirates 13-3 in the period. The Monarchs continued their surge late in the third period, led by Nolan’s fifth goal of the season at the 14:22 mark and Holloway sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 42 seconds remaining.
The Monarchs out-shot the Pirates 38-28 as Manchester goaltender Jeff Zatkoff improved his record to 17-12-5. Portland netminder David Leggio lost for the first time in his past 10 decisions as his overall record dropped to 19-5-0.
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the game were: 1. Nolan, 2. Adam and 3. Muzzin.
Portland hits the road for three games in the upcoming weekend facing the Binghamton Senators, Hershey Bears, and Providence Bruins. On Friday (March 18), the game can be heard live from the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton as the Pirates face the Senators in a 7:05 p.m. start. The next night (Saturday, March 19), Portland will be in Hershey, PA taking on the Bears in a 7 p.m. faceoff, and the weekend wraps up in Providence on Sunday (March 20) for a 4:05 p.m. game. All Pirates road games can be heard live on News Talk 95.5 WLOB and on-line at portlandpirates.com beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. in Binghamton and Hershey, and 3:45 p.m. in Providence.
The Pirates will return to the Civic Center on Tuesday, March 22nd where they will be hosting their second annual School Day Game, presented by Irving Oil and Modern Woodmen of America. The Worcester Sharks come to town for a special 11 a.m. start.