MANCHESTER, NH – Lucas Lessio scored twice and added an assist as the Pirates defeated the Manchester Monarchs 4-1 on Thursday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. The win cuts the Monarchs’ lead in the VIP Cup Series, presented by VIP Tires & Service, to 4-2.
Hunter Bishop opened the games’ scoring for the Monarchs, as his shot bounced off the skate of a Pirates defender and past Louis Domingue at 3:31 of the first to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead. However, Lucas Lessio would level the game at 1 in his return to the lineup with a power play tally at 17:22 of the period. Lessio’s goal was his 6th of the season and was assisted by Randy Jones.
After a scoreless second that was highlighted by a successful Pirates penalty kill, the Pirates offense came alive. Lessio got his second power play goal of the night at 12:42 of the third to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead, with Jones and Domingue picking up the assists. 2 minutes later, Lessio fed Brendan Shinnimin in front of the net for Shinnimin’s 5th goal of the year to extend the lead to 3-1, and giving Lessio a 3 point night. With 1:40 left in regulation, JF Berube went to the bench for the Monarchs for the extra attacker and the Pirates would take advantage, with Andy Miele scoring with 1:33 left in the game to extend the lead to 4-1 and adding to his team lead in goals with 12.
Louis Domingue picks up his first career AHL win against a team other than the Providence Bruins, stopping 34 shots for his 3rd win of the season. He has yet to lose a game in regulation in his AHL career. The Pirates improve to 12-10-1-4 on the year and narrow the gap in the VIP Cup Series, presented by VIP Tires & Service, to 4-2. Visit www.vip-cup.com to vote for the player of the series and get the latest news, scores, and updates about the series.