Monarchs win in final seconds
MANCHESTER - The Monarchs broke the pattern. Barely.
Linden Vey scored with a shot through traffic with just 1.8 seconds left in overtime to lift Manchester to a 3-2 win over the Portland Pirates in front of 7,703 at Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester had won one, lost one through all of January.
Saturday's win, coupled with Friday night's 2-1 win at home over Worcester, marked the first time the Monarchs won consecutive games since before Christmas. They had a season's-best four-game win streak snapped on Dec. 21 with a 2-1 loss at Bridgeport.
This one nearly got away from the Monarchs, who led 2-0 entering the third period.
Thanks to Vey and a lot of pressure on the Pirates and goalie Louis Domingue (36 saves) at the end, the Monarchs triumphed.
Manchester's J.F. Berube made 26 saves for the win.The Monarchs and Springfield Falcons entered the night tied for the most points in the league with 60 each.The Monarchs got on the board first when Sean Backman connected for the only goal of the period 8:09 into the game.Manchester had a wide territorial edge in the period, outshooting Portland 15-4.Tanner Pearson ran it to 2-0 with his 14th of the season at 11:23 of the second period.
A minute after the goal, Manchester's Andrew Bodnarchuk and Portland's Brett Hextall squared off in spirited bout in the Monarch zone.
The Pirates picked up the pace after that.
They had some good scoring bids in the latter part of the second period. On one of the best, Phil Lane deflected a pass from Chris Brown on goal, but Berube stopped it.
Portland finally struck for a goal with 10:38 left in the third period. Andy Miele deflected Brandon Gormley's shot on net past Berube for his 17th of the season.
The Pirates tied it just over two minutes later when Ethan Werek picked up a rebound in close and circled behind the net and tucked the puck past Berube for a power play goal with 8:25 left.
Pearson's goal moved him into a tie with Nick Deslauriers for the team lead in goals. Deslauriers is at 14-11-25 in 46 games. Pearson has 14-12-26 totals in 32 games. ... Manchester and Portland meet again next weekend. After Sundays game at Worcester, the Monarchs play home games against Binghamton on Friday and St. John's on Saturday and travel to Maine for a Super Bowl Sunday 1 p.m. matinee against the Pirates in Lewiston.