MANCHESTER,NH – Lucas Lessio registered his first professional hat trick, but the Manchester monarchs scored twice in the final 1:43 of regulation and Sean Backman added the game winner on overtime to give the Manchester Monarchs a 4-3 win over the Pirates Saturday. The win gives Manchester their first VIP Cup title, presented by VIP Tires & Service. For more information on the VIP Cup Series, visit www.vip-cup.com.
The Pirates and Monarchs traded power play opportunities in the first, but neither team could convert, despite the Pirates outshooting Manchester 11-6. In the second, Lucas Lessio caught fire. After a Manchester penalty 16 seconds into the period, Lessio got his first tally of the period 27 seconds in to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. Manchester’s Jordan Weal tied the game at the 4:05 mark, but Lessio struck again. After serving 2 minutes in the box for delay of game, Lessio caught a pass out of the box and buried it past Monarchs starter Patrik Bartosak for his second of the period. Lessio completed the hat trick at 13:22 of the second, taking a feed from Darian Dziurzynski and putting it past Bartosak again, becoming the Pirate to register a hat trick on the road since former Pirate and current Coyotes forward Rob Klinkhammer did it against St. John’s on October 23rd, 2012.
The Pirates tried to preserve their lead in the third, but Manchester’s Jordan Weal matched Lessio’s scoring output. With the extra attacker on and 1:43 left, Weal got his second goal of the game to cut the Pirates’ lead to 1. After a penalty to Brandon Yip, Weal tied the game with 30 seconds left in regulation, capping off his hat trick and tying the game at 3.
In overtime, the Pirates were unable to convert on a power play, and Manchester’s Sean Backman beat Louis Domingue at 3.19 of the extra frame to give Manchester the VIP Cup title.