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Monarchs Lose on Last-Minute Goal

by Kim Mueller / Los Angeles Kings
Gabe Gauthier scored one of the Monarchs two goals.

MANCHESTER, NH – Defenseman Derek Joslin scored the game-winning goal with 34 seconds remaining in the game to lift the Worcester Sharks, 3-2, over the Manchester Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night. The 2010 Calder Cup Atlantic Division Final series is tied at 2-2 with game five scheduled for Wednesday, May 5 at the DCU Center.

“Well, there was a lot of net crashing,” explained Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following Saturday’s loss. “(Worcester) carried the play in the third period; give them credit.

“I wish we had video replay. There was a distinct kicking motion on that (final) goal. I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes. We have to learn from this and move forward. It’s hard to swallow.”

With 34 seconds remaining in the third period, Worcester took the final lead of the game on Joslin’s fourth goal of the post-season. After a barrage of bodies piled up around the Monarchs net, Joslin jammed the puck past Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier who was sprawled out onto the ice. Sharks right wing Dan DaSilva and left wing Brandon Mashinter were credited with the assists on the game-winning goal.

Worcester struck first with a power play goal by center Ryan Vesce at the 11:12 mark of the first period. After a pile-up of players in front of the Monarchs net, the puck broke free just outside of the crease on the left side where Vesce was positioned. The center buried the puck into the top of the net to give the Sharks the 1-0 lead. Center Benn Ferriero and Mashinter picked up assists on the first goal of the game.

The Monarchs answered back with an unassisted breakaway goal by center Gabe Gauthier at 12:36 of the middle frame. After winning the puck battle near the Monarchs blueline, Gauthier shook off a Worcester defenseman and carried the puck down the left wing boards. Once inside the left face-off circle, Gauthier snapped the puck past Sharks netminder Alex Stalock and inside the right post to knot the game at 1-1.

The Monarchs took their only lead of the game just over a minute later on a goal by center Justin Azevedo. After gathering the puck behind the net, left winger Bud Holloway fed a backhand pass to Azevedo in the slot on the left doorstep. The center wristed a shot that beat Stalock under the netminder’s right arm to put the Monarchs on top 2-1. Left wing Dwight King earned an assist on Azevedo’s second goal of the post-season.

Center Cory Quirk scored at 10:54 of the third period to tie the game at 2-2. Bernier made a save and the puck deflected to the end boards where defenseman Nick Schaus picked it up. Schaus threw a backhander toward the net that found the stick of Quirk who redirected the puck inside the left post for his second goal of the playoffs. Mashinter earned his second of three assists on the tying goal.

Bernier (6-2) took his second loss of the playoffs after stopping 33-of-36 shots on goal. Stalock (6-3) earned his sixth win of the post-season with 19 saves.

Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play. Worcester was 1-for-5 with the man advantage.

NOTABLES: The Monarchs’ two shots in the third period set a new playoff record for the fewest shots in a period…Goaltender Jonathan Bernier’s nine consecutive starts in net also sets a record...Left wing Bud Holloway’s point streak extended to eight games with nine points (5-4=9)…Center Justin Azevedo has a point in seven out of eight games during the post-season for a total of eight points (2-6=8).
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