With the loss, Manchester (42-25-3-6, 93 points) remains in second place in the Atlantic Division, three points behind the division-leading Portland Pirates (44-21-6-2, 96 points). The Sharks (35-28-4-8, 82 points) remain in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 82 points.
“For much of the game, we outworked and outplayed Worcester,” explained Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris following the game. “Two bounces went their way early in the game and Hutton was real good against us again. Worcester came out hard and beat us to pucks early on.”
“Our start was sluggish, but I was happy with the way we played after the first period. It’s tough to win if you don’t score,” said Morris. “They didn’t get many ‘Grade A’ scoring chances but the puck luck early on was the difference.
“The compete level was high. Hopefully we bring that energy and compete level we saw in periods two and three into tomorrow’s game against Portland, plus some puck luck of our own. You’ve got to score to win,” concluded Morris.
McCarthy scored his fifth goal of the season at 11:55 of the first period. Right wing Brandon Mashinter won a puck battle along the right wing boards and sent a puck toward the top of the right face-off circle. Defenseman Sean Sullivan crept in from the right point and fired a shot on goal that struck McCarthy at the top of the goal crease. The puck dropped onto the stick of McCarthy, who skated around lunging Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones
and wristed the puck into the empty net.
McCarthy potted his second goal of the contest at 9:16 of the second period, doubling the Worcester advantage. From the left wing boards, Mashinter gathered the puck and dished it to forward Tommy Wingels, skating behind the net from left to right. Turning the corner near the right post, Wingels sent the puck across the crease to McCarthy, who fired it home near the left post to give Worcester the 2-0 lead.
Jones (22-12-1) dropped his 12th decision of the season, halting 21-of-23 shots on goal. Worcester goaltender Carter Hutton (11-5-2) collected his 11th victory, stopping all 27 shots on net and recorded his second shutout of the season.
Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play. Worcester was also 0-for-4 with the man advantage.Notables:
Manchester was held without a goal for only the third time this season, as the Monarchs were shutout against the Providence Bruins on January 7 in addition to the Connecticut Whale on March 18…Defenseman Thomas Hickey
skated in his 100th professional game this evening…In their last seven games, Manchester has only allowed one power play goal, having killed off 25-of-26 penalties during that stretch.