WORCESTER, MA – Left wing Matt Moulson scored twice to lead the Manchester Monarchs over the Worcester Sharks, 3-2, in front of 4,112 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (13-9-5-1) moves into second place in the Atlantic Division with 32 points. Worcester (12-11-1-4) is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division with 29 points.
For the second night in a row, the Monarchs gave up a shorthanded goal, this time off the stick of center Tom Cavanagh. Stealing the puck at the Sharks blueline, Cavanagh skated down center ice with Monarchs defenseman Peter Harrold chasing. The Harvard graduate snapped a wrist shot under Manchester's netminder Jason LaBarbera's blocker for a 1-0 lead at 7:07 of the second period.
The Sharks held on to the lead for only one minute and 35 seconds before Moulson tallied his sixth goal of the season. Left wing Noah Clarke collected a pass along the right wing boards from defenseman T.J. Kemp and sent the puck deep. Moulson picked up the puck in the right corner and carried it to the net before flipping a shot passed Sharks goaltender Nolan Schaefer.
Moulson collected his second goal of the night while on the power play at 17:13 of the middle frame. Harrold fired a shot from the right point and Moulson, sitting on the right doorstep, redirected the shot into the back of the net to give the Monarchs a 2-1 lead. Kemp also earned an assist on the goal, his team leading 17th assist of the season.
Right wing Konstantin Pushkarev scored his third goal in as many games at 8:20 of the third period. Left wing Jeff Giuliano won the face-off back to center Matt Ryan who ripped a shot on Schaefer. Making the initial save, Schaefer let the rebound bounce to Pushkarev who jammed it in for his fourth goal of the season.
Former University of New Hampshire defenseman Garrett Stafford brought the Sharks to within one goal as he tallied a power play goal at 19:03 of the final period. Stafford let a bomb go from just above the left face-off circle that snuck past LaBarbera to bring the score to 3-2. Defenseman Dan Spang and right wing Graham Mink collected assists on Stafford's fourth goal of the season.
LaBarbera earned the win with 27 saves. Schaefer took the loss stopping 19 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-4 on the power play. Worcester went 1-for-7 with the man advantage.
The Hartford Wolf Pack travels to Manchester to face the Monarchs in a 4:05 p.m. matinee at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday, Dec. 17. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR-AM 610 and at www.monarchshockey.com