Manchester (10-9-0-1) ranks second in the Atlantic Division with 21 points. The Sharks (6-5-2-2) are in fifth place in the Division with 16 points.
“It was a tough exhibition,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “They caught us napping and came at us hard in the third period. We got a good bounce from our captain, Marc-Andre Cliche
. We will take the two points and run with them. They are a good team and their goalie (Tyson) Sexsmith stood tall all night.”
Monarchs center Marc-Andre Cliche
gave the Monarchs a 2-1 lead at 18:32 of the third period. Left wing David Meckler
gained the Sharks zone along the right wing boards before dropping the puck to Cliche at the near point. The center immediately wristed a shot toward the net that dodged traffic and found the top left corner of the net. Cliche’s team leading eighth goal of the season came on the power play and was also assisted by defenseman Patrick Mullen
Monarchs opened the scoring off the stick of left wing Ray Kaunisto
. Center Robbie Czarnik gained the zone along the right wing boards chipping a pass to left wing Dwight King
in the near corner. Kaunisto took a pass from King and drove to the net before wristing a shot five-hole on Sharks netminder Tyson Sexsmith. Kaunisto picked up his third goal of the season at 8:06 of the second period.
The Sharks tied the game 1-1 at 5:43 into the third period. Right wing Tommy Wingels retrieved the puck behind the net and attempted a wrap-around on the right side of the net. Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones
made the initial save but could not hold onto the rebound and Wingels jammed the loose puck into the net. Wingels second goal of the season was assisted by center Nathan Moon and left wing Tony Lucia.
Jones (6-7-0) earned his sixth win of the season stopping 33-of-34 shots in the game. Sexsmith (3-4-2) took his fourth loss of the season with 23 saves on 25 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. The Sharks were 0-for-4 with the man advantage. Notables:
Monarchs own a 5-4-0-1 record at home for this season…Monarchs are on a four-game winning-streak at home…The Monarchs are above .500 for the first time since October 16 when they were 3-2-0-0…Center Marc-Andre Cliche
tallied his team-leading eighth goal and third game-winning goal of the season…Defenseman Andrew Campbell
had his two-game goal-streak snapped…Right wing Jordan Nolan
’s two game goal (three) streak and point (3-1=4) streak was snapped…Monarchs left wing Dwight King
has three assists in two games.