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Sharks Beat Monarchs 4-2

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
WORCESTER, MA – The Manchester Monarchs end their six-game road trip with a 4-2 loss against the Worcester Sharks at the DCU Center on Saturday night.

Manchester (3-5-0-0) is ranked fourth in the Atlantic Division with six points.  Worcester (3-0-0-1) is in third place in the Atlantic Division with seven points.

“Tonight was a step in the right direction even though we came out on the short end,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris.  “We competed and played very hard.  Our team overcame several man-down situations.  We think we deserved a better fate but this one was within reach.  Nothing you can do other than use it as fuel to battle until things start going our way again.  There were a few too many weak clears and some golden scoring opportunities we needed to capitalize on; that made the difference.”

Defenseman Matt Irwin tallied a power play goal to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead at 8:05 of the third period.  Center Ben Guite took the puck from the left corner boards and slid a pass back to Irwin at the left point.  Irwin let go a one-timer that skimmed across the ice and beat the netminder five-hole.  Forward Mike Connolly also assisted on the eventual game-winning goal.

The Sharks opened the scoring at 13:43 of the first period when forward Nathan Moon swung his stick at a loose puck in front of the net for his second goal of the season.  Defenseman Sean Sullivan created the scoring opportunity when he fired a blast from the left point.  The puck hit a Monarchs defenseman in front of the net where Moon flicked the puck up over the left shoulder of Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff.  Defenseman Cam MacIntyre also picked up an assist on the opening goal.

The Monarchs answered Moon’s tally just 17 seconds later.  Defenseman David Kolomatis sent the puck in deep to the right corner to left wing Ray Kaunisto.  The left wing spotted center Cam Paddock with in the slot and rifled a hard slap pass into the crease.  Paddock tipped the puck up and over the stick side of goaltender Harri Sateri.  The strike came off the backhand and marked his first goal of the season and first tally in a Monarchs uniform.

Taking a 2-1 lead, the Monarchs picked up a power play strike from defenseman Jake Muzzin at 7:04 of the second period.  Center Andrei Loktionov carried the puck down the right wing and slipped a pass through the Sharks defense to Muzzin skating in toward the net from the left point.  The defenseman played the puck off his right skate to his stick and wristed a shot under the arm pit of Sateri.  Muzzin’s third goal of the season was also assisted by defenseman Patrick Mullen.

The Sharks knotted up the score at 2-2 when Connolly intercepted a pass between the Monarchs defense off the end boards at 18:08 of the middle frame.  Connolly grabbed the puck behind the Monarchs cage and skated into the slot before wristing a shot that hit off Zatkoff before trickling into the net for his third tally of the season.

Connolly finished off the Monarchs by scoring an empty net goal at 19:52 of the third period.  Guite sent an indirect pass up the right boards to a streaking Connolly.  The forward took the puck to the top of the right face-off circle and wristed it into the empty net for his second goal of the game and fourth tally of the season.  Sateri also picked up an assist on the play.

Zatkoff (0-2-0) took his second loss of the season stopping 31-of-34 shots.  Sateri (1-0-0) picked up his first victory of the season stopping all 25-of- 27 shots.

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

Notables: The Monarchs dropped their fourth consecutive road game…The Monarchs went 2-4-0-0 on their six-game road trip…Dropping their fourth game in a row, the Monarchs tied the franchise’s longest losing streak record…Monarchs center Andrei Loktionov grabbed his AHL and team leading 11th point…Loktionov’s plus-7 rating is tied for the league lead…Defensemen Jake Muzzin and David Kolomatis are tied for fourth among AHL defensemen.
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