Monarchs lose ground to Portland, fall 3-1
All-Star Tyler Toffoli provided the Manchester Monarchs with the only goal it could muster Saturday night as the Portland Pirates topped the locals, 3-1, in American Hockey League action at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine.
The setback stymied the Monarchs bid to gain ground on the Pirates, the Atlantic Division's frontrunner. Portland sports a 25-16-1-1 record for 52 points while second-place Manchester is 21-18-2-2 with 46 points.
Toffoli's goal at 19:58 of the first period attempted to rally the Monarchs who had fallen behind 2-0 before the game was two minutes old. Even though the strike whittled the deficit to one goal, Manchester sharpshooters were not able to sneak the puck past Portland goalie Mike Lee the rest of the way.
Lee finished with 31 saves.
Pirates Chris Summers and Darian Dziurzynski surprised Monarchs goalie Martin Jones with quick goals in the first. Summers tally came 27 second into the fray and Dziurzynski's strike came at 1:53.
Chris Conner added Portland's third goal on a middle period power play at 14:56.
Jones blanked the Pirates through the third and finished with 27 stops.