MANCHESTER, NH – Patrik Bartosak stopped a career-high 42 shots as the Monarchs held on for a 3-2 win over the Portland Pirates Portland on Friday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
“I think it just shows the growth these guys have had all season long,” Head Coach Mike Stothers said. “They’ve improved and they are very valuable to us. Our guys are here to develop and play and step up and they did.”
Jordan Weal had two assists, moving him into a tie with Steve Kelly and Noah Clarke for second place on the Monarchs’ all-time list with 114 in his career.
Manchester (49-16-6-3) ended the season series 9-2-0-1 versus Portland (37-28-7-2). The Monarchs extended their winning streak to four straight and have earned at least one point in each of their last eight games beginning on Mar. 29.
Portland opened up the scoring at 11:17 of the first period, capitalizing on the power play. Henrik Samuelsson sent a rebound past Bartosak to put the Pirates up 1-0.
Nic Dowd netted his ninth goal of the season to tie the score at 1-1. An intercepted pass allowed him to put the Monarchs on the board with a high wrist shot at 14:43 of the first frame.
The first period ended 2-1 Monarchs after Michael Mersch’s 21st tally of the season at 19:01. He took a Jordan Weal pass on the doorstep for a one-timer.
Weal dropped a breakaway pass back to Justin Auger, who fired the puck to the back of the net at 5:37 of the second period to double the Manchester lead.
The Pirates cut the lead in half with Samuelsson scoring his second goal of the game. The power-play goal came at 19:30 of the second period.
The Monarchs will return to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night in the final home game of the regular season to host the Worcester Sharks at 7 p.m.
- Jordan Weal collected his 18th multi-point game of the season.
- Michael Mersch has at least one point in nine of his last 10 games beginning on Mar. 27. He has nine goals and five assists in that stretch.
- Bartosak has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last seven appearances beginning on Mar. 13.
- Nic Dowd (goal) extended his point streak to three games and has at least one point in five of his last six (4 goals, 2 assists).
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