PORTLAND – The Manchester Monarchs’ line of Tyler Toffoli, Linden Vey and Tanner Pearson picked up where it left off a month ago.
Toffoli scored three goals as the Monarchs snapped a three-game losing streak by cruising to a 5-1 win against the Portland Pirates Tuesday night before a season-low crowd of 2,746 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
It took Toffoli, who spent the last four seasons playing junior hockey for the Ottawa 67s in the Ontario Hockey League, less than 32 minutes to complete his first pro hat trick.
On Oct. 20, the Toffoli-Vey-Pearson line produced four goals in the Monarchs 6-4 win over the Pirates at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H.
“They are young guys, and they’ve scored at every level,” Manchester Coach Mark Morris said. “It’s good to see them finding their way in the (AHL). They got pretty good chemistry. We’re trying to teach them to be 200-foot players, right now.”
The Pirates (6-7-1-1) suffered their third loss in four games despite holding a 43-25 edge in shots on goal.
“If you get that many scoring chances in the game, you should be in the game,” Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. “When you’re outchancing a team, outshooting a team, you should be in a better situation, but we’re not because we’re having a hard time scoring goals right now.”
The Pirates continued to have problems on the power play. They went 0 for 10 on the power play Tuesday night. On two occasions, they held a two-man advantage. But Portland couldn’t score in those situations against goalie Martin Jones, who made 42 saves in his 13th start in 15 games.
“They had a lot of power plays, so our penalty kill and our goaltender were excellent,” Morris said. “They were huge factors in the game.”
Portland is 0 for 33 on the power play since Nov. 10 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
“We’ve just got to keep working,” Edwards said. “We’re not scoring. I don’t know what to tell you. We’re getting chances, but we’re not scoring.”
The Monarchs, who moved into the top spot in the five-team Atlantic Division, took a 2-0 lead less than 16 minutes into the game on Toffoli’s first two goals. Less than 12 minutes into the second period, he scored his team-high seventh.
In the third period, Stefan Legein and Slava Voynov made it 5-0.
With 32.9 seconds left, Evan Brophy of the Pirates scored his second goal of the season.
NOTES: The Pirates continue to rotate their defensemen. Tuesday night, it was Maxim Goncharov’s and Mathieu Brodeur’s turn to sit.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org