Manchester (38-21-2-6, 84 points) drops to second place in the Atlantic Division with 84 points. Worcester (30-23-4-8, 72 points) is tied for third place in the Atlantic Division with 72 points.
“I thought their goalie stood on his head,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We had a lot of chances, especially in the second period. We applied a lot of pressure in the third, and I didn’t like their second goal at all, but we hung in there and came to within a whisker of tying it up.”
“I think the combination of puck luck and a hot goalie was the difference tonight,” concluded Morris.
Right wing Tommy Wingels scored the game-winning goal, his 12th of the season, at 1:45 of the third period. With the Sharks shorthanded following a penalty late in the second period, left wing John McCarthy cleared the puck out of the defensive zone to defenseman Nick Petrecki. Skating forward, Petrecki found a streaking Wingels across the offensive blueline. Wingels took a bad-angle shot from the right side that rang off the right post and caromed into the goal off of the left shoulder of Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones
Left wing Brandon Mashinter was the first to light the lamp for the Sharks at 7:51 of the first period. On the power play, center Michael Swift tipped a shot wide of the net that ricocheted off the glass to the left of the Monarchs goal. Defenseman Jon Landry, possessing the puck behind the Monarchs goal, backhanded the puck to a waiting Mashinter. Collecting the pass, Mashinter quickly wristed a shot that beat Jones, short-side, underneath his arm for the first goal of the game.
Right wing Oscar Moller scored his 19th goal of the season, cutting into the Sharks lead at 10:37 of the third period. Center John Zeiler retrieved the puck along the boards behind the Sharks cage. Zeiler fed the puck over to center Marc-Andre Cliche
, who sent a feed toward the slot from behind the net. Standing alone between the hash marks, Moller collected a feed from Cliche and rang a powerful shot off of the crossbar. The ensuing rebound trickled down the back of Worcester goaltender Carter Hutton and into the cage, crossing the red line by only a few inches.
Adding insurance late in the third period, Worcester right wing Dan DaSilva sealed the game with an empty net goal, his 13th of season, at 19:58 of the third period. From the neutral zone, DaSilva wristed a soft shot down the river that found its way into the empty cage for the third Worcester goal.
Jones (22-10-1) dropped his 10th decision of the season, stopping 17-of-19 shots on goal. Hutton (6-3-2) stopped 34-of-35 shots on net, earning his sixth victory of the season.
Manchester went 0-for-6 on the power play. Worcester was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.Notables:
Left wing David Meckler
played in his 255th career American Hockey League contest, surpassing former Monarchs defenseman Joe Rullier for first place all-time in franchise history…The Monarchs allowed a shorthanded goal for the first time since November 26, 2010 against Albany in a 7-2 Manchester victory…Tonight was the first time the Monarchs have let in an empty net goal at home this season.