Manchester raced out to a two-goal lead in the first half-minute of the game, then scored three times in 37 seconds early in the third period en route to a 6-2 victory over Portland in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series on Saturday night.
The Monarchs have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five and can close out the series in Portland on Sunday.
Michael Mersch scored the first of his two goals on the night just 20 seconds into the contest on the Monarchs’ first shot, and Jordan Weal potted his third goal of the series only 10 seconds later to chase Pirates starting goaltender Mike McKenna.
Brendan Shinnimin scored late in the first to cut the Portland deficit in half, and the 2-1 score held up until Sean Backman, Brian O’Neill and Nic Dowd scored in rapid succession to open up a 5-1 advantage early in the third.
Dowd (1g, 2a) and Nick Shore (3a) had three points each on the night for Manchester, and Jean-Francois Berube needed just 17 saves for his second win of the series. The Monarchs have held Portland to just 35 shots on goal total in two games.
Louis Domingue, who came on in relief of McKenna for the second game in a row, stopped 23 of 26 shots for the Pirates.
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
1-Manchester Monarchs vs. 8-Portland Pirates
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 23 – MANCHESTER 5, Portland 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – MANCHESTER 6, Portland 2
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 26 – Manchester at Portland, 5:00
*Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 30 – Manchester at Portland, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 2 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern