Lucas Lessio’s first professional hat trick — all three goals coming in the second period — wasn’t enough to help the Portland Pirates find a victory Saturday in Manchester.

Jordan Weal answered Lessio’s feat with a hat trick of his own, capping his three scores with a game-tying tally with 31 seconds to play, and Sean Backman added the dagger in overtime as the Monarchs came from behind to defeat the Pirates 4-3, their seventh win in 10 games against Portland this season.

The loss drops the Pirates to 24-35-2-8 on the season. Manchester, which leads the Atlantic Division, also pulled ahead of Springfield for the Eastern Conference lead with the win and now stands at 44-19-2.

The teams battled to a scoreless deadlock in the first, with each goalie coming up big. Louis Domingue held Manchester scoreless on six first-period tires, while Patrik Bartosak held off the Pirates’ 11 chances in the opening frame.

Lessio lit the lamp only 27 seconds into the second on a power play chance with help from Jordan Martinook and Andy Miele to put the Pirates on the board.

Weal equalized at 4:05, but Lessio was just getting warmed up. At 7:22, he converted a feed from Mrancon Yip and newcomer Cade Fairchild to push the Pirates back in front, 2-1. Six minutes later, Lessio added his third, with assists from Darian Dziurzynski and Kevin Hanley, and Portland went into the third period on top by two.


The score stayed that way until fewer than two minutes remained on the clock. Weal netted his second of the night — and 20th of the season — at 18:17 to pull the home team within one at 3-2.

After a heated altercation at 19:19 between Portland’s Brandon Yip and Manchester’s Andy Andreoff, the Monarchs went on a power play. With the goalie pulled behind them, Weal converted his third of the night at 19:29 to force overtime.

Backman finished the comeback at 3:49 of the extra session, beating Domingue for his ninth of the year.

Portland returns to the ice Sunday at 3 p.m. against Providence.

Schedule changes

Faced with a scheduling conflict at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, the Portland Pirates have altered a pair of their final four home games of the season.

The game against Manchester that was supposed to be the season finale on Sunday, April 20 will now take place this Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. In addition, the game originally slated for Friday, April 18 has been moved to Wednesday, April 16, also at 7 p.m.

The changes mean that the Pirates’ final home game, at which they will give the shirts off their back to fans who enter and win a raffle, will take place on Saturday, April 19 against the St. John’s IceCaps. That game remains unchanged and is scheduled for a 7 p.m. faceoff.

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