MANCHESTER, NH – Forward T.J. Fox netted two goals and an assist as the Worcester Sharks defeated the Manchester Monarchs 5-1 in front of 4,693 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday evening.
Manchester (11-12-3-1) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 26 points. Worcester (11-10-1-2) is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division with 25 points.
Fox tallied his second goal of the night at 8:01 in the first period making it all the Sharks would need to get the win. Defenseman Marc Busenberg found a lonely Fox in the left face-off circle of the Monarchs zone. Fox's shot went under the glove of netminder Erik Ersberg for the go-ahead goal.
The Sharks started the scoring off at the five minute mark of the first period. The Sharks held the puck in the Monarchs zone when forward Nate Raduns threw a shot directly at Ersberg. The rebound came off the netminder's chest and directly at Fox who hammered home his first of two goals on the night. The shot beat Ersberg blocker side and gave Busenberg his first point of the season and first of two assists on the night.
Worcester wasted no time in the second stanza continuing their scoring barrage at the 2:10 mark. Raduns worked the puck behind the net with multiple Monarchs around him. Raduns sniffed out fellow teammate center Riley Armstrong in front of the net who then tossed a saucer shot into Ersberg. The goaltender sprawled out to his left and tried to stop the disc with his glove but ended up knocking it into the net. Fox tallied his third point of the night with an assist on the play.
Immediately after the third goal Monarchs Coach Mark Morris pulled Ersberg and replaced him with netminder Daniel Taylor.
The Sharks persisted at 5:07 of the second period with a power play goal. Center Mike Iggulden controlled the puck behind the net and attempted a wrap around shot to the right of Taylor. A flurry of bodies converged in front of the net when Armstrong thought he had punched one home. The shot made Taylor flop to the ice leaving no one to guard the net. The rebound came to defenseman Tom Walsh stationed in front of the net. Walsh wasted no time as he flipped the biscuit into the basket.
Forward Lukas Kaspar kept the Sharks going 25 seconds later with his sixth goal of the year at 5:32 in the second period. The forward accepted a sharp pass from center Craig Valette positioned at the right slot and shivered the puck past the blocker of Taylor.
The Monarchs center Trevor Lewis put his team on the board at 16:36 of the third frame. With right wing Kevin Westgarth in the box, Lewis came down the right side of the ice on a breakaway. He ripped a shot from the right face-off circle and into the top left corner of the stitches. Center Brian Boyle added his 13th assist of the season and defenseman Richard Petiot picked up his third assist of the year.
Ersberg stopped 8-of-11 shots for the loss before being taken out at 2:10 in second period. Taylor replaced him and obstructed 15-of-17 shots. Sharks goaltender Taylor Dakers stopped 28-of-29 shots earning his second win of the season in seven tries.
Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play. Worcester was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.