Monarchs sink Pirates, 5-1
The Manchester Monarchs spoiled the home opener for the Portland Pirates, posting a 5-1 win Saturday night.
The Monarchs (3-1-0) play at Springfield on Sunday at 3 p.m. to close a three-games-in-three days road trip.
Manchester will continue its road trip with a return visit to Portland on Wednesday (6:30 p.m.).
Several Monarchs had two-point nights, among them Ray Kaunisto (goal, assist), Justin Azevedo (two assists), David Meckler (goal, assist) and Slava Voynov (two assists).
Manchester goaltender Martin Jones made 32 saves in the win. Jones has played in all four Monarchs games this season but will likely give way to Jeff Zatkoff for today’s game with the Falcons.
The Monarchs led 2-0 after one period on goals from Meckler and Andrei Loktionov.
Meckler scored off a Kaunisto feed at 15:37 and Loktionov netted his first goal of the season at 16:23 with a shot from just outside the right circle.
Manchester extended the lead to 3-0 on a goal from defenseman Jake Muzzin at 6:57 of the second period. It was Muzzin’s first of the season and came off a feed from fellow defenseman Slava Voynov.
Portland got on the board at 9:51 of the second as Colin Long tallied for the first time this season, leaving the score 3-1 after two periods.
Former University of New Hampshire standout Garrett Stafford assisted on the Long goal.
The Pirates skated a five-on-three power play for 42 seconds in the early stages of the third period, but the Monarchs were able to kill it off without harm to keep the two-goal lead intact.
Ray Kaunisto pushed the Manchester lead to 4-1 with a goal at 14:54. It was Kaunisto’s first goal of the season.
Brandon Kozun closed the scoring less than 2:00 later with a goal from the slot, converting an Azevedo pass.