WORCESTER, Mass. – The Manchester Monarchs made up for a poor Friday performance with four first period goals, easily defeating the Worcester Railers 7-4 to split their home-and-home weekend series.
Nic Pierog netted two of the four unanswered first period goals, obtaining the hat trick 12:42 into the second period.
Pierog added an empty netter with seven seconds left in the game, following Chris Carlisle’s empty net goal about half a minute earlier.
Matheson Iacopelli and Kevin Dufour also scored for Manchester, with Stefan Falkovsky also contributing a pair of assists.
Worcester goaltender Mitch Gilliam left the game after the Monarchs’ fourth goal, with Ryan MacKinnon, Matthew Gaudreau, Barry Almeida, and David Quenneville scoring for Worcester.
Manchester (33-26-2-2) began the day out of playoff contention after Worcester’s Saturday win against Maine, but bounced back into the final spot with the win, which puts them just one point ahead of Worcester and one point behind Maine.
The Monarchs return to Manchester on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. showdown against the North Division leading Newfoundland Growlers.