04/09/2014 7:43 AM
Pirates (24-35-3-8, 59 points) vs. Monarchs (45-19-2-6, 98 points)
Lewiston, ME – The Portland Pirates host the Manchester Monarchs for the final time this season tonight at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. Puck drop is 7 PM for the 11th game of the VIP Cup Series, presented by VIP Tires & Service. Manchester has already clinched the VIP Cup Series for this season by a 7-3 margin. For more information on the VIP Cup Series, visit www.vip-cup.com.
The Pirates last played Sunday, dropping a 7-2 decision to the Providence Bruins. Brandon Yip and Lucas Lessio both scored for the Pirates while Chris Rawlings made his second career AHL start, making 37 saves on 44 shots in the defeat. The Pirates are winless in their last 4 games.
Manchester defeated the Worcester Sharks on Sunday by a 5-2 score. Braden McNabb scored twice, with Sean Backman, Jordan Weal, and Andrew Bodnarchuk also adding tallies. Patrik Bartosak made 30 saves for the Monarchs for the win.
The Pirates last met the Monarchs on Saturday, dropping a 4-3 OT game as Manchester clinched the VIP Cup for the first time. Lucas Lessio registered a hat trick for the Pirates, the first Pirates hat trick on the road since Rob Klinkhammer did it on October 23, 2012 in St. John’s, but Manchester’s Jordan Weal answered with a hat trick of his own to tie the game in the final minutes. Sean Backman scored the game winner for the Monarchs in overtime. Louis Domingue made 23 saves in the defeat. The win gave Manchester their first VIP Cup Series championship, presented by VIP Tires & Service, and a 7-3 advantage in the season series.
Coyotes prospect Justin Hache, who signed an entry-level contract with Phoenix on Monday, has been practicing with the Pirates and could make his AHL debut tonight. Hache, a 6’1, 205 defenseman won the Kevin Lowe Trophy in the QMJHL as the top defensive defenseman in the league this season with Cape Brenton.
KeyBank Key to the Game
Rivalry: The Pirates are playing for pride in the VIP Cup Series, presented by VIP Tires & Service, as Manchester clinched the championship on Saturday. Portland’s focus tonight should be on the future of the VIP Cup rivalry and setting the tone for next year’s VIP Cup Series.
Tonight’s game can be heard on News Talk WLOB AM 1310 as well as WEZR FM 105.5/AM 1240 in the Lewiston/Auburn area and WTME AM 780/1450 in Oxford County. The game can also be heard online at portlandpirates.com by clicking “Listen Live” and can be seen live on AHL Live at ahllive.com. The pregame show starts at 6:40 with Jeff Mannix.
Tickets for tonight’s game are available by calling the Androscoggin Bank Colisee box office at (207) 783-2009 ext. 525 or online at thecolisee.com.
Follow all the action on the Pirates official Facebook page and Twitter account (@PortlandPirates) with the hashtag #PiratesHome.