Zach O’Brien scored twice to highlight a string of six straight goals in leading the Manchester Monarchs to a 7-4 comeback win against the host Portland Pirates in a VIP Cup matchup at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.
Manchester (30-13-2-5), leaders of the Atlantic Division with 67 points, took four of a possible six points over the weekend.
The Monarchs trailed 4-1 midway through the second period.
“We buckled down to complete the comeback,” said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris.
Monarchs goaltender J.F. Berube replaced starter Mathias Niederberger for the start of the second period after Portland established a 3-1 lead. Tobias Rieder made it 4-1 with a power-play goal before Manchester answered with its game-deciding run.
The comeback started with a power-play goal at 10:55 of the second period when Tanner Pearson collected his team-leading 16th goal. Six minutes later, Londonderry’s Ian O’Connor scored his first season goal, cutting Portland’s lead to 4-3 by the second intermission.
Manchester took control scoring three goals in a span of 2:03. Colin Miller tied the game at 3:45 and 1:44 later O’Brien, stationed near the crease, scooped a loose puck and beat Portland goalie Louis Domingue for the Monarchs’ go-ahead goal.
Nineteen seconds later, Hunter Bishop padded Manchester’s lead to 6-4 with a high wrist shot. O’Brien tacked on another insurance goal at 12:01 for the final score. Berube (19-13-2) earned his 19th season win of the season, turning back 17 shots.
The seven goals scored is the most for Manchester in one game this season.
The Monarchs will host their fourth annual Pink In The Rink game against Providence at 7 p.m. Saturday. The players will be wearing pink jerseys and skating on pink ice. There will be a silent and live auction for the pink jerseys and proceeds from the event will benefit Catholic Medical Center’s Breast Care Center.