PORTLAND — The Portland Pirates (14-14-0-0) fell to .500 on the season in a 8-2 loss to the Manchester Monarchs (18-6-1-1) Wednesday night at Cross Insurance Arena.
It was the Pirates fifth straight loss. Andy Andreoff had a hat trick for Manchester. Brian O’Neill registered five assists.
Manchester started its rout in the first period with a goal by Sean Backman and assisted by Nic Dowd and Michael Mersch. Josh Gratton made the score 2-0 with an unassisted goal at 15:08.
The Pirates answered back with their first of the night at 16:50, with Justin Hodgman finding the back of the net, assisted by Philip Samuelsson for his first point as a Pirate, and Greg Carey. Manchester put up one more in the first with a goal from Andreoff at 17:15, assisted by Nick Shore and O’Neill.
The second period saw four Manchester goals, the first at 6:36 by Andreoff and assisted by Shore and O’Neill. Kevin Gravel added to the Monarchs’ tally, assisted by O’Neill and Andreoff, at 13:04.
Eleven seconds later, Shore put up another, assisted by O’Neill and Nick Ebert. Darian Dziurzynski supplied the Pirates’ rebuttal at 13:39, assisted by Evan Oberg and Greg Miller. Andreoff finished his hat trick at 16:38 in the period with help from Shore and O’Neill.
Justin Auger tacked on a goal for the Monarchs in the third.
The Monarchs outshot the Pirates, 44-27. Mike McKenna recorded the loss, saving 23 of 29 shots faced before being taken out in the second period.
The Pirates play a pair of home games at Cross Insurance Arena this weekend. They will host the Providence Bruins on Friday at 7 p.m. and the Worcester Sharks on Saturday at 7 p.m.