PORTLAND – The Portland Pirates headed into a nine-day break in their American Hockey League schedule on a sour note Friday night.

The Manchester Monarchs scored three goals in the third period to snap a five-game losing streak and roll to a 5-2 win over the Pirates before more than 6,700 people at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The Pirates, who held a 24-14 edge in shots, managed to take just five shots on goal during the final period.

“We just stopped,” Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. “We just stopped doing everything, and we stood around and watch them play.

“We got away from our structure. We tried to do everything ourselves. We turned pucks over. We just fell apart.”

The Monarchs took a 2-0 lead during the first period.

Seven minutes into the game, right wing Linden Vey scored his second goal of the season during the first power play of the game by lifting a shot from the left side of the slot toward goalie Curtis McElhinney’s glove side.

Less than five minutes later, left wing Dwight King finished off a connect-the-dots, three-on-two break with Robert Czarnik, a rookie forward playing in his first AHL game, and veteran center Justin Azevedo, who also drew an assist on Vey’s goal.

The score was tied 2-2 at the end of the second period.

“The first two periods we were OK — we weren’t great — but we were OK,” Edwards said. “We got the two (goals) back in the second to make it a game, and the third period we were disgusting. It was just bad, and it is unacceptable.”

Four minutes into the second period, Ryan Duncan made it 2-1 when he finished off a rush down the left side with his third goal on the Pirates’ third power play of the game.

Five minutes later, Ashton Rome finished another rush down the left side with his second goal to tie it.

Less than four minutes into the third period, former Lewiston Maineiac Marc-Andre Cliche jammed the puck in during a scrum in front of the Portland net for his team-high fifth goal of the season put the Monarchs in the lead for good.

With six minutes left, Richard Clune scored his third goal to put the game out of reach. With less than two minutes left, defenseman Jordan Hill scored an empy-netter for the last tally.

The Pirates go into their nine-day break with a 3-5-0-1 record.

“We’ve lost four games at home, and that’s unacceptable, but we’ll address it,” Edwards said.

NOTE: Defenseman Chris Summers, who spent the last three weeks in the NHL with the parent Phoenix Coyotes, played his first game with the Pirates.

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

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