PORTLAND 6, MANCHESTER 1
Jeff Cowan and rookie Tyler Ennis each scored twice, and Mark Mancari matched a franchise record with five assists as Portland rolled to a 6-1 win over visiting Manchester on Tuesday afternoon at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The victory pushed the Pirates’ winning streak to a season-high four games and improved them to 6-1-0-0 in their last seven contests. Portland now holds a five-point lead on Hartford and Bridgeport for fourth place in the Atlantic Division.
Manchester got on the board first when Justin Azevedo scored just 39 seconds after the opening face-off, but it was all Pirates the rest of the way.
Cowan tallied the equalizer at 6:07 of the first frame and then put Portland on top to stay at 7:17 of the second period. Ennis scored once apiece in the second and third periods, as the 2010 AHL All-Star Game MVP registered his first multiple-goal game since Dec. 19 vs. Bridgeport.
Brad Larsen and defenseman T.J. Brennan (1-1-2) also netted goals for the Pirates; Kyle Wanvig chipped in a pair of assists; and goaltender Jhonas Enroth (19-14-1) stopped 37 of 38 shots in the winning effort.
Mancari became the third player in Pirates history to record five assists in a game, and the first since Andreas Salomonsson accomplished the feat at St. John’s on Dec. 7, 2002. Portland has also received five-assist games from Keith Jones (Feb. 12, 1994) and current Minnesota Wild forward Andrew Brunette (Dec. 27, 1996).
Manchester, which remained three points ahead of Worcester and Lowell for first place in the Atlantic Division, dropped to 2-2-0-2 against Portland this season.
MILWAUKEE 5, TEXAS 1
Milwaukee struck for three goals in the second period and never looked back en route to a 5-1 win over red-hot Texas at the Bradley Center on Tuesday.
Reigning Reebok/AHL rookie of the month Colin Wilson assisted on a pair of the Admirals’ second-period goals and then scored one of his own in the third period for a three-point night.
Milwaukee rookie Chet Pickard earned the victory with 27 saves between the pipes and improved to 13-8-2 on the campaign.
Aaron Gagnon scored for the Stars, whose five-game winning streak and eight-game points streak (7-0-1-0) both came to an end.