LEWISTON — The Manchester Monarchs continued their dominance over the Portland Pirates Wednesday night.
The Monarchs, the AHL’s top team, rolled to a 5-0 win over the Pirates before fewer than 1,000 people at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
Manchester is 8-3 against Portland this season.
The two teams will play once more, Saturday night at Manchester, N.H.
“I was happy after two periods,” Pirates Coach Ray Edwards said. “In the third period, we just got outcompeted.”
The Monarchs, 46-19-2-6, held a 2-0 lead after two periods.
“We were playing fast and playing hard and getting a lot of chances,” Edwards said. “We had numerous scoring chances, but their goalie was good. We had 20 scoring chances so give credit to their goaltender.”
Goalie Patrik Bartozak stopped 29 shots for his first shutout as a pro in his fourth game with the Monarchs. Bartozak recently completed his third junior season with Red Deer of the Western Hockey League.
The Pirates, who have lost five straight, remain mired in last place in the Atlantic Division with a 24-36-3-8 record.
“It’s frustrating for our older players,” Edwards said. “It’s a difficult situation, and it’s hard on them. They’re trying to get motivated to play every shift, every game, and it’s been a tough year for them.”
Right wing Steve Quailer opened the scoring when he converted defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk’s pass from the left side into his fourth goal of the season with less than two minutes left in the first period.
Andy Miele, the Pirates’ leading scorer, appeared to tie the score in the closing seconds of the first period, but the goal was disallowed when the referees rule he batted the puck in with a high stick.
Less than two minutes into the second period, rookie forward Michael Mersch, playing in his fourth AHL game after finishing his college career at Wisconsin, made it 2-0 when his shot from the left circle went in off goalie Louis Domingue’s pads for his first pro goal.
The Pirates thought they scored with two minutes left in the second period, but following a review by the referees it was determined that the puck never went in the net.
“There’s eight or nine different players (in the lineup) so the chemistry isn’t great,” Edwards said, “ but we’re trying to focus and competing and working hard, and we did that well during the first two periods.”
The Pirates were shut out at home for the first time since Jan. 28, 2012. They have not won at home since March 2.
The Monarchs scored three goals in the third period.
Brian O’Neil scored his team-high 26th goal of the season less than a minute into the third. Mersch notched his second goal with fewer than three minutes left and Scott Sabourin put in his 11th goal during the final minute.