MANCHESTER, NH – Defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky collected three points to lead the Manchester Monarchs past the Worcester Sharks 5-2 in front a crowd of 3,182 at the Verizon Wireless Arena to take game one of the best of seven 2007 Calder Cup Atlantic Division Semifinals Series A.
The Monarchs got on the scoreboard first with a goal from Tverdovsky at 1:57 of the first period. Left wing Noah Clarke collected a loose puck along the left boards in Shark territory and passed it back to defenseman Doug Nolan. The veteran defefenseman fed the puck to a wide open Tverdovsky who let off a blistering one-timer, beating Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss under the glove.
The Sharks tied the score at 5:24 of the opening period with a goal from right wing Graham Mink. Center Josh Prudden collected an errant pass from a Monarch defenseman and found Mink crashing to the net. Mink broke in all alone on Monarchs goaltender Barry Brust. The Worcester forward was able to get Brust to the ice and roofed it over his glove.
With the Monarchs on a 5-on-3 advantage, they took a 2-1 lead on a goal from defenseman Peter Harrold. Right wing Lauri Tukonen was stationed on the right face-off circle and sent a pass back to Tverdovsky at the right point. Tverdovsky slid a pass to the left point where an open Harrold fired a one-timer under the glove of Greiss at 11:52 of the first frame.
The Monarchs struck again a minute and twenty-three seconds later with a goal from right wing John Zeiler. Tverdovsky was in the defensive zone and sent a cross ice pass to Harrold on the left side. The defenseman settled the puck and passed it to Zeiler streaking down the right side. The rookie broke in one-on-one with a Sharks defenseman. The right wing got off a wrist shot that snuck under the left arm of the Sharks goaltender.
After a goaltender change for Worcester, the Monarchs increased their lead to 4-1 at 5:02 of the second period with a goal from center Marty Murray. Left wing Matt Moulson sent a pass back to the left point that was cradled by defenseman Jeff Likens. The rookie defenseman saw Murray streaking to the net and sent a frozen rope toward the net. Murray tipped it home over the right pad of Sharks goaltender Dimitri Patzold.
Worcester cut the lead in half at 7:45 of the third period with a power play goal from right wing Grant Stevenson. Defenseman Patrick Traverse fed the puck over to the right point where defenseman Garrett Stafford uncorked a one-timer toward the net. Stevenson was able to get a stick on the shot and redirected it through the legs of Brust.
Manchester regained the three goal lead at 9:54 of the final frame. Likens took a slap shot from the right point while left wing Petr Kanko was all alone in front of the net and tipped it over the arm of Patzold. Manchester's defenseman T.J. Kemp also recorded an assist on the on the goal.
Brust took the win with 27 saves on 29 shots. Greiss took the loss saving 8-of-11 shots. Patzold came in and stopped 18 pucks in over 46 minutes of play.
Manchester went 2-for-8 with the man advantage. Worcester was 1-for-6 on the power play.