PORTLAND – Justin Azevedo scored 53 seconds into overtime as the Manchester Monarchs pulled off their second victory in two nights against the Portland Pirates on Saturday.

Azevedo’s team-high 10th goal of the season lifted the Monarchs to a 2-1 win before a crowd of 4,477 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The Monarchs, who defeated the Pirates 4-3 at the Verizon Center Friday night, took a firmer grasp on first place in the AHL Atlantic Division. Manchester moved three points ahead of the Pirates and evened the season series at 3-3.

“We got outplayed at home,” Portland Coach Kevin Dineen said. “We’re waiting for things to happen to us instead of being the aggressor.”

It was the third consecutive game this week between the teams. Last Sunday, the Pirates started the week with a 4-2 win at Manchester.

“We got three points out of six, so we’re not happy,” Dineen said. “It’s not good enough for us right now. We’re a better hockey team than that.”

Dineen’s frustration boiled over at the end of the game and he received a game misconduct after throwing a marker on the ice.

Defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani gave Portland a 1-0 lead 11 minutes into the second period when his hard shot from the left point deflected off a defender and beyond the grasp of rookie goaltender Martin Jones for his sixth goal of the season.

Defenseman Thomas Hickey tied the game eight minutes into the third period when he slid the puck into the left side of the goal during a delayed penalty call while the Pirates were on a power play.

Portland dominated during the first 10 minutes of the game, outshooting Manchester, 8-1. But the Monarchs came to life during the Pirates’ second power play, forcing goalie Jhonas Enroth to make stops on breakaways by former Lewiston Mainieac Marc-Andre Cliche, Richard Clune and Corey Elkins while Portland skated with a man advantage.

Enroth turned in a superb effort, making 42 saves.

“When your goalie plays a game as good as that, you’d like to think the rest of the guys were going to follow suit,” Dineen said.

NOTES: Play was halted for 20 minutes early in the second period to replace a panel of glass at east end of the arena. For the second consecutive night, Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier watched the Pirates play. Immediately after the game, the Pirates headed to Bridgeport, Conn., for this afternoon’s game against the Sound Tigers. Rookie defenseman Alex Biega talks about the Pirates’ Christmas party in his most recent Alex On Ice blog.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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