The Portland Pirates were unable to get their 2nd win of the season on Saturday. In a match pitting the AHL affiliates of the Western Conference Finalists against each other, the same result occurred. The Phoenix Coyotes affiliate lost to the Los Angeles Kings affiliate, Manchester Monarchs, just as the NHL teams did last May.
The Pirates needed only 44 seconds to take the lead in the game when Captain Alexandre Bolduc opened the scoring. The Pirates would add a power play tally from the hottest player on the team, Chris Conner, with less than four minutes remaining in the first period. The goal was Conner’s 3rd goal (5th point) in his last four periods of hockey.
The Monarchs’ Tanner Pearson would score the next two goals (both on the power play) to tie the game at 2. Conner would score again for the Pirates who would lead for the last time in the game. Monarchs defenseman Slava Voynov would score with just over a minute remaining in the 2nd period to send the teams into intermission tied at 3.
Tyler Toffoli would score a short handed goal for the Monarchs 2:08 into the 3rd period.Manchester would not trail again in the game. Linden Vey would score seven minutes later to give the Monarchs a two-goal lead. With 6:35 remaining in the game, Pirates forward Brendan Shinnimin scored his first professional goal to cut the Monarchs’ lead to one. Andrei Loktionov sealed the win for Manchester when he netted an empty-net goal with 19 seconds remaining. The Pirates fell to the Monarchs 6-4.
Chad Johnson started in net for the Pirates and recorded his 2nd loss of the season. Johnson allowed 5 goals on 35 shots (.857 SV %). Neither Pirates goalie has cracked the 90 percent save mark in the first three games of the season. The Pirates are 1-2-0-0 so far this season. Conner had his second multi-goal game in a row and has 4 goals and 6 points over the previous two games.