Practice on Tuesday went well. The Portland Pirates looked forward to their American Hockey League game Wednesday night as a chance to end a four-game losing streak and shake free from a scoring slump.

“Everybody seemed to be focused before,” Pirates defenseman Andrew Campbell said, “but we just didn’t come out well at all. We got beaten in every area.”

Indeed, the Pirates suffered their worst defeat of the season, an 8-2 loss to the Manchester Monarchs before a quiet crowd of 1,561 Wednesday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

Andy Andreoff turned a hat trick and added two assists for Atlantic Division-leading Manchester, all before the third period. It was 3-1 after one and 7-2 through two.

“If we could put our finger on it, we would have addressed it,” Campbell said of the uncharacteristic meltdown by a team coming off a 10-game stretch that included six victories, three one-goal losses and one two-goal loss. “It’s hard to know.”

Coach Ray Edwards pulled goaltender Mike McKenna late in the second with the score 6-1. McKenna finished with 23 saves. Peter Mannino played the final 26-plus minutes and made 13 saves as Portland was outshot 44-27.

“We can’t pin that on a goaltender,” Edwards said. “We were not good in front of him. It was a poor performance. Coaches, players, we were all bad.”

The loss left the Pirates at an even 14-14. Manchester is 18-8 with one loss in overtime and one in a shootout.

Kevin Gravel, Josh Gratton, Sean Backman, Justin Auger and Nick Shore also scored for the Monarchs, winners of four of five contests with Portland this season by a combined 22-8.

After three straight home games against Manchester, the Pirates host Providence and Worcester Friday and Saturday night. The previous two games against Manchester were a 3-2 victory and a 3-1 loss.

“It’s a good challenge to play that team,” Edwards said. “We played two pretty good games against them in here and we were very competitive. (Wednesday night), we weren’t even competitive.”

Justin Hodgman and Darian Dziurzynski scored for the Pirates, who were outshot 34-15 through two periods. Hodgman’s goal, set up by Philip Samuelsson, cut the margin to 2-1 for all of 25 seconds. That’s when Andreoff, tallied the first of his three goals.

His second made it 4-1 before Gravel and Shore each scored in a span of 11 seconds to spell the end of the night for McKenna.

“We got our butts kicked,” Edwards said. “We just played very poorly against a very good team. There wasn’t one facet of the game that we were good at. We couldn’t sustain a forecheck. We couldn’t defend. We got out-competed.”

How the Pirates respond at practice Thursday and against Providence Friday night, Edwards said, will be telling.

“They have to know that they can’t get away with an effort like that,” he said. “That’s inexcusable. It’s not fair to the fans. It’s not fair to the organization. It’s not an acceptable effort.”

Edwards understands that Portland is in the midst of six games in nine days, that forward Lucas Lessio and defenseman Brandon Gormley are back after missing several games (four and 14, respectively), and appreciates that the Pirates tried to stay positive on the bench and played a competitive third period.

“The good thing is it hasn’t happened a lot,” Edwards said. “We’ve got a good group in there. We’ve just got to be better.”

Can that happen by the weekend? Campbell thinks so.

“Each individual has to step up his game,” Campbell said. “There’s no magic formula. It’s every guy, to a man, bringing a better effort for 60 minutes.”

NOTES: Gormley returned to the Pirates after playing in six NHL games with the Coyotes. He scored a goal and took two penalties with Arizona before sitting out 14 games with a lower-body injury. To make room, the Pirates sent defenseman Jordon Southorn to Gwinnett of the East Coast Hockey League.

Mannino made his home debut, but knows his way around the arena. He played 15 games for the 2012-13 Pirates.

Left wing Paul Bissonnette, who played eight games with the Pirates this season on a tryout contract, is now with Manchester. Bissonnette, 29, spent the last five seasons with Arizona.