LEWISTON, Maine – The Manchester Monarchs shutout the Pirates 5-0 Wednesday night in the final Pirates home game in the VIP Cup Series, presented by VIP Tires and Service. Manchester holds an 8-3 advantage in the VIP Cup Series, after having clinched the championship last Saturday.
Patrik Bartosak made 29 saves to backstop the Monarchs to the win with Michael Mersch tallying his first two goals of his professional career. Louis Domingue made 23 saves for the Pirates for the loss.
The first was a battle with both teams looking to get up early but with no luck. Finally, at 18:57, the Monarchs jumped ahead with Steve Quailer firing a shot from the low shot past Domingue for the 1-0 lead. In the second, the Monarchs wasted no time extending their lead with Mersch scoring his first goal of the night and season from along the right wing boards just 1:14 into the stanza.
In the third, the Monarchs refused to give the Pirates any time and pressure, instead pouring in three more goals. Brian O’Neill scored 38 seconds into the third in tight on Domingue to make it 3-0. Mersch then scored at 17:30, slamming one home from the doorstep and Scott Sabourin put the game away at 19:23 with a power play goal from the slot.
Lucas Lessio led the Pirates with six shots on goal while Brett Hextall fired five shots on net, but Bartosak was up to the task all night, denying each and every opportunity the Pirates had. The shutout is the first shutout suffered by the Pirates at home since January 28, 2012, when Eddie Pasquale of the St. John’s IceCaps held Portland scoreless.