WORCESTER, MA – Right wing Graham Mink had a hand in every goal as the Worcester Sharks skated past the Manchester Monarchs 3-1 in front of 6,897 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (22-20-4-2) drops to fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 50 points. Worcester (19-19-3-3) is in sixth place in the Atlantic Division with 44 points.
Forward T.J. Fox's goal at 8:22 of the first period proved to be the game winner. Mink shot the puck at point blank range on goaltender Daniel Taylor. Making the pad save, Taylor denied Mink but the right wing directed the puck through the crease as he fell to the ice. Stationed at the right doorstep, Fox flipped the puck over Taylor as he sprawled out in the crease attempting to make the save. Defenseman Marc Busenburg assisted on Fox's seventh tally of the season.
Mink started the scoring with his 11th goal of the season at 6:16 of the opening frame. The puck chaotically bounced from stick-to-stick as the Monarchs traded off possession with the Sharks. Left wing Dennis Packard tossed the puck to Mink who went streaking toward the net. Once he positioned himself in the slot, Mink snapped a wrist shot over Taylor's glove. Busenburg collected an assisted on Mink's first tally of the game.
Mink collected the insurance tally at the 39-second mark of the second period. Sharks goaltender Dimitri Patzold gave the puck to defenseman Derek Joslin who started up the ice. Joslin passed the puck up the ice to Mink who carried the puck down the right wing. Sidestepping Monarchs defenseman Drew Bagnall, Mink backhanded a shot through Taylor's legs to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead.
Center Gabe Gauthier put the Monarchs on the board at 8:28 of the middle frame with his 16th tally of the season. On the power play, right wing Teddy Purcell collected the puck at the left point. Scanning the ice surface, Purcell found Gauthier in the right face-off circle. Gauthier blasted a slap shot past Patzold to put the Monarchs on the board. Right wing Lauri Tukonen earned an assist on Manchester's lone goal.
Taylor (8-3-0) stopped 27-of-30 shots in the Monarchs loss. Patzold (3-4-1) made 16 saves for the Sharks.
Manchester went 1-for-2 on the power play. Worcester was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.