The Manchester Monarchs exploded for four first-period goals en route to a 6-2 win over the Portland Pirates before 3,729 fans at Verizon Wireless Arena Friday night.
The Monarchs strengthened their hold on the Atlantic Division lead, improving to 20-5-5. Portland fell to 10-10-5. Manchester plays at Bridgeport tonight at 7 and will then be off until Thursday night when it hosts Portland at 7 p.m.
Manchester's line of Brian O'Neill, Nick Shore and Andy Andreoff accounted for four goals and six assists in the game.
Shore got the scoring started for Manchester, netting his fourth goal of the year at 4:36 of the first frame on the power play. Shore scored by picking up a rebound in front and popping it home.
O'Neill, just back from a hand injury, made it 2-0 at 10:55. Shore's backhander was saved by Mark Visentin, but O'Neill was there for the put-back. O'Neill struck again at 17:21, again off a Shore helper.
Portland struck back with a goal from Jordan Martinook after Manchester goalie J.F. Berube could not control a rebound, at 19:04.
Any momentum Portland might have taken from that goal quickly melted away when the Monarchs scored to take a 4-1 lead with three seconds remaining in the period. Jordan Weal got the goal, scoring his seventh of the season.
Manchester pushed the lead to 5-1 at the 2:28 mark of the second period when Andreoff's shot through a screen banged off the left post and in, past relief goalie Louis Domingue.
Tanner Pearson made it 6-1 with a power-goal at 1:42 of the third period.
It was Pearson's 11th of the season and was assisted by Linden Vey, just back from the parent club in Los Angeles.
Portland's Keven Veilleux scored a power-play goal at 9:02 to make it 6-2.