Manchester (37-19-2-5, 81 points) is in first place in the Atlantic Division with 81 points. Worcester (27-21-3-8, 65 points) is ranked third in the Atlantic Division with 65 points.
“This afternoon’s game proved to be a frustrating outing for us,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Early on, Worcester made good on some puck luck. We were unable to sustain an attack. I thought we had our chances and when we couldn’t capitalize on a 5-on-3 power play, it was evident we weren’t sharp.
“The Sharks played with desperation and beat us to too many pucks. They were ready for us. Finding consistency with our execution is something which needs attention right now. This was a fast-paced game; similar to playoff hockey. Teams are ramping up their intensity and we have to get ourselves in that mindset. We looked a bit tired. Quick decision making has to be a priority.”
The Sharks took a two-goal lead at 14:20 of the second period with defenseman Nick Schaus’ third tally of the season. Defenseman Nick Petrecki sprung Schaus down the right wing. Schaus crossed the Monarchs blueline and cut in toward the net from the right face-off circle. As he attempted to pass the puck, it bounced off the stick of Monarchs defenseman David Kolomatis
, bounced through traffic and found its way into the back of the net. Left wing Brandon Mashinter assisted on the goal that brought the score to 3-1.
Following a scoreless first period, the Monarchs and Sharks combined for four goals in the middle frame. Worcester’s left wing Jamie McGinn picked up his sixth goal of the season at the 21-second mark of the second period. As defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov attempted to clear the puck from the Monarchs zone along the right wing half wall, McGinn stopped the puck with his feet and skated around Voynov down the wing. Cutting in toward the net, McGinn flipped a backhand shot past Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones
’ glove to give Worcester a 1-0 lead.
Center Corey Elkins
evened the game at 1-1 with his 15th tally of the season at 3:02 of the middle stanza. Defenseman Colten Teubert tossed the puck from the right point over to the left face-off circle. The puck got stuck in Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin’s jersey. As it fell to the ice, right wing Brandon Kozun
took a swipe at it before Elkins one-timed it into the back of the net to tie the game.
Skating on the power play, left wing T.J. Trevelyan gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead with his 14th goal of the season at 5:54 of the second period. Right wing Benn Ferriero was at the left point and attempted to send the puck into the right corner of the Monarchs zone. The puck bounced off of a Monarchs player and onto the stick of Trevelyan who was skating through the slot. The left winger slid a backhand shot between the legs of Jones for the one goal advantage. Right wing Jonathan Cheechoo assisted on the goal.
Elkins tallied his second goal of the game and 16th of the season at 2:37 of the final frame. Defenseman Patrick Mullen
fed the puck to left wing David Meckler
who broke out of the neutral zone and up the right wing. As he neared the end red line in the Sharks zone, Meckler passed the puck into the slot for Elkins to redirect past goaltender Tyson Sexsmith.
McGinn gave the Sharks their two-goal lead back at 16:05 of the third period with a shorthanded goal. Defenseman Mike Moore flipped the puck up the ice to McGinn who went streaking down the left wing. With a Monarchs defenseman trailing him, McGinn let go of a shot in the left face-off circle that beat Jones on his blocker side. Ferriero earned his second assist of the night on McGinn’s seventh goal of the season.
Forward Tommy Wingels gave the Sharks an insurance goal at 17:10 of the final period. Mashinter passed the puck to Wingels along the left wing in the neutral zone. The forward beat Voynov and skated in on Jones where he beat the netminder on his glove side for his 10th tally of the season.
Jones (22-8-1) took his eighth loss of the season, stopping 30-of-35 shots on goal. Sexsmith (1-0-1) earned his first win of the season with 25 saves on 27 shots on goal.
Manchester was 0-for-6 on the power play. Worcester was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.Notables:
The Sharks snapped the Monarchs three-game winning streak…Manchester failed to converted on the power play for the first time in five games…Goaltender Martin Jones
took his first regulation loss since February 11…Center Corey Elkins
recorded his third multi-goal game of the season…Elkins picked up two tallies against the Sharks on December 10, 2010 and two goals against Charlotte on January 13, 2011.