WORCESTER, MA – Left wing Matt Moulson scored the lone goal for the Manchester Monarchs as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Worcester Sharks in front of 4,717 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (39-18-6-1) is leading the Atlantic Division with 85 points. Worcester (30-24-3-8) is tied for fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 71 points.
The Sharks jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period with tallies by center Tom Cavanagh and right wing Graham Mink. Cavanagh's ninth goal of the season came at 6:52 of the opening frame when he broke in on Monarchs goaltender Barry Brust with linemate left wing Mathieu Darche. Cavanagh stole the puck from Monarchs right wing Tim Jackman at center ice and began the 2-on-1 rush with Darche. Opting to shoot the puck rather then pass, Cavanagh's wrist shot from the left face-off circle snuck under Brust's left arm for the 1-0 Sharks lead. Defenseman Patrick Traverse earned an assist on the play.
On the power play, Mink made it 2-0 with his 20th goal of the season at 16:04 of the first period. Defenseman Scott Ferguson fired a shot from the left point that was tipped by center Mike Iggulden. Brust made the initial save but the rebound popped free and Mink was on the doorstep to jam the puck into the net.
Moulson cut the Sharks lead in half with a power play goal, his 18th tally of the season, at 19:38 of the middle stanza. Defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky collected the puck at the right point and handed it off to center Marty Murray along the right wing boards. Murray turned and fed the puck to Moulson deep in the Sharks zone. Moulson sent a one-timer sailing past Worcester's netminder Thomas Greiss for a 2-1 score.
Left wing Lukas Kaspar added an insurance goal for the Sharks at 17:58 of the final period. Cavanagh sent a pass from behind the net out front to Kaspar. Mink skated to the front of the net to serve as a screen as Kaspar scored his eighth goal of the season.
Brust took the loss with 34 saves. Greiss earned the win stopping 28-of-29 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-2 on the power play. Worcester was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.