HOOKSETT, NH – Defenseman Eric Werner's lone shootout goal lifted the Manchester Monarchs over the Worcester Sharks, 5-4, in the club's final exhibition game of the preseason at the Tri-Town Ice Arena on Saturday night.
Monarchs goaltender Daniel Taylor stopped all five of Worcester's shootout snipers. Left wings Noah Clarke and Matt Moulson, defenseman Peter Harrold and right wing Kevin Saurette were denied in the shootout by Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss.
Worcester jumped out on the scoreboard at 4:08 of the first period as center Michal Macho buried a wrist shot into the back of the net. Center Joe Pavelski skated into the Monarchs zone and slipped the puck to Macho rushing in for the goal.
Moulson evened the score at 1-1 at 5:50 of the opening frame. Clarke passed the puck to Saurette to the left of the Sharks net. Saurette slid the puck through the crease to Moulson standing on the right doorstep. Moulson sent a one-timer past Greiss.
The Sharks took the 2-1 lead at 19:44 of the first period. Defenseman Dan Spang fired a slap shot from the point past a screened Barry Brust while left wing Petr Kanko sat in the penalty box for roughing. Right wing Brady Leisenring and defenseman Brennan Evans assisted on the Sharks go-ahead goal.
Right wing Ryan Murphy blasted a shot past Greiss at 2:11 of the middle frame for a 2-2 tie. Center Gabe Gauthier sent the puck over to Murphy streaking down the right wing for the goal from the right wing circle. Left wing Dany Roussin assisted on the goal.
Manchester swapped out goaltenders at the 10:45 mark of the second period, replacing Brust with Taylor. Brust finished with 14 saves on 16 shots.
Right wing James Hiebert dropped the gloves for the second time in as many nights, fighting with Evans at 11:53 of the second stanza.
Worcester regained the lead at 17:47 of the second period. Macho dug the puck out of the corner and fed it up to Pavelski at the top of the crease. Pavelski sent a snap shot skimming the ice past Taylor's glove side for the 3-2 lead going into the second intermission. Defenseman Michael Hutchins also assisted on the play.
Manchester evened things up at 3-3 at the 3:40 mark of the final frame. Hiebert slid the puck from the blue line to Clarke at the left face-off dot. Clarke fired a shot that chipped its way between Greiss' left pad and glove. Harrold assisted on the goal at the beginning of the third period.
Worcester took back their lead at 11:59 when left wing Torry Gajda backhanded a rebound over Taylor for a 4-3 lead. Center Tom Cavanagh and Spang assisted on the goal.
One minute and eight-seconds later, Saurette flipped a backhander through the legs of Greiss to bring the score back to a tie, 4-4. Clarke shot the puck and caught Greiss off-guard. With the puck fumbling around the crease, Saurette was there for the rebound. Moulson earned his second point of the game on the play.
Heibert and Evans commenced for round two at 13:56 of the third period and headed to the penalty box with their second fighting majors.
Taylor earned the victory stopping 19 shots. Greiss took the loss with 44 saves.