David Kolomatis, Bud Holloway, Justin Azevedo, Justin Johnson and David Meckler each scored to lead the Manchester Monarchs to a 5-2 win over the Portland Pirates in an American Hockey League game played tonight in front of 9,127 at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The win moved the Monarchs (43-25-3-6) to within one point of the Pirates (44-22-6-2) for first place in the Atlantic Division. Portland still holds three games in hands.
Luke Adam and Derek Whitmore scored for the Pirates.
Adam opened the scoring with a power-play strike six-and-a-half minutes into the game but the Monarchs would connect twice in the final five minutes of the first period, on goals by Kolomatis and Holloway (on the power play), to carry a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The Monarchs carried the momentum into the second building a 4-1 lead before the midway point of the period on goals by Azevedo (on the power play) and Johnson. The Pirates got one back only 49 seconds after the Johnson goal as Whitmore brought the visitors back to within two heading into the third. Meckler hit the open net with under five seconds left in regulation to complete the scoring.
The Monarchs out-shot the Pirates 40-25 in the game.
David Leggio started for the Pirates and turned aside 20 of the 24 shots he faced before being replace by Jeff Jakaitis midway through the second period with the Monarchs leading 4-1. Jakaitis turned aside all 16 shots he faced.
The Allied Home Mortgage Three Stars of the Game were all from the Monarchs. Azevedo was the firs, Holloway the second and Kolomatis the third.
The Pirates continue a three-game road trip tomorrow (Sunday) in Hartford against the Connecticut Whale in a 3 p.m. start. The game can be heard live on 95.5 News Talk WLOB and on line at portlandpirates.com beginning with the pre-game show at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday the Pirates are in Worcester to face the Sharks in a 7 p.m. start.