MANCHESTER, NH – Center Brian Boyle collected two points to help lift the Manchester Monarchs past the Worcester Sharks, 3-2, in front of 4,613 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday evening.
"We played fairly well for two periods but Worcester inched their way back in the third," said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. "The shots are indicative of the third period swing of momentum. (Jonathan) Quick was stellar in net and our penalty kill was outstanding."
Manchester (10-8-0-3, 23 points) is tied for fifth place in the Atlantic Division. Worcester (12-11-0-0, 24 points) is in fourth place in the Atlantic Division.
Putting the finishing touch on the scoring for the Monarchs, defenseman Alec Martinez tallied his second goal of the season in the second period. After a near breakaway with right wing Teddy Purcell, Boyle controlled the puck in the Sharks' zone and skated deep into the right circle. Boyle quickly sent a backhand, flip pass to Martinez who was in the right place at the right time. Martinez one-timed a wrist shot over the left shoulder of the goaltender at the 15:16 mark of the period.
The Monarchs started the scoring with their first of two goals in the opening period at the 10:37 mark. Center David Meckler tallied his fifth goal of the campaign on a redirected shot from defenseman Josh Kidd. The rookie blueliner snapped a shot from the point that Meckler was able to put through the five-hole of Sharks netminder Taylor Dakers. Right wing Bud Holloway was awarded his second assist on the season.
The scoring didn't stop there as the Monarchs cashed in on a shorthanded goal. At 17:12 of the first period, Purcell scooped up the puck at center ice and created a 2-on-1 rush with Boyle. Purcell skated into the left circle and found Boyle streaking toward the net down the right wing. In his first game back with the Monarchs this season, Boyle one-timed the pass from Purcell over the sliding Dakers for his first tally of the season.
The Sharks made it onto the board at 12:46 of the second frame. With defenseman Davis Drewiske in the box for slashing, the Sharks were able to capitalize on the power play. At 12:46 of the third frame, defenseman Patrick Traverse stationed himself in the right circle and tossed a pass in front of the net for center Steven Zalewski. After he corralled the disc, Zalewski sent it up and over Monarchs netminder Jonathan Quick and into the roof of the net. Right wing Ryan Vesce was credited with the second helper on the tally.
Making the contest a battle in the end, the Sharks lit the lamp with an extra attacker. Defenseman Derek Joslin started the goal with a pass from the point to Traverse who was to the right of the cage. Traverse ripped a shot that was kicked away by Quick. The rebound bounced to Quick's right where center Cory Larose was eager to bang home the Sharks' second goal of the evening at 19:24 in the third period.
"We expect an effort for a full game," said Morris. "We need to look at the mistakes we made in the third period and correct them."
Quick (5-5-1) earned his fifth victory on the season after stoning 43 Worcester shots while Dakers (5-6-0) burdened his first loss on the season after halting 12 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-9 on the power play. Worcester was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.