Finishing up a three-game home stand at the DCU Center, the Worcester Sharks were defeated 4-1 by their Atlantic Division rival the Manchester Monarchs (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) Wednesday night. Second year forward Daniil Tarasov had the lone goal for the Sharks while goaltender Harri Sateri made 28 saves in net.
"It wasn't his (Sateri's) fault," said Worcester Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Carl Setterlund of Telegram.com. "He kept us in there and gave us an opportunity to win. You need more than one goal to win in today's game."
After a scoreless first period that saw the Sharks out-shoot the Monarchs 16-15 and was highlighted by Sateri denying Monarchs forward Andy Andreoff on a 3-on-1 rush, the Monarchs took a 1-0 lead just 32-seconds into the second period when forward Tanner Pearson beat Sateri over the shoulder with a wicked snap shot from near the right face-off dot for his fourth goal of the season.
The Monarchs extended their lead to 2-0 at 4:29 of the third period when forward Tyler Toffoli beat Sateri with a one-timer from the top of the slot for his fourth goal of the season and what held up as the game-winning-goal.
"When (Toffoli is) on the ice, you've got to know where he's at," said Sommer. "You give him a shot like that in the high slot, and it's game over."
Tarasov cut the Monarchs lead in half at 7:32 with a power play goal, his second goal of the season and in as many games, when he beat Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones from point blank range after taking a behind the net centering feed from Sharks rookie defenseman Dylan DeMelo. Sharks forward Bracken Kearns was credited with the secondary assist.
The Sharks had two power play opportunities following Tarasov's goal, including some 5-on-3 time, but couldn't establish anything substantial to get the tying goal past Jones.
"He's a good goalie, and to get a goal on him, you've got to earn it," said Sommer.
With less than two minutes remaining in the game, Sharks rookie forward Rylan Schwartz had his backhanded attempt from on top of the crease on the left side go wide, and a turnover at the blue line of the right point sprung a breakaway for Monarchs defenseman Nick Deslauriers, who fired the puck past Sateri at 18:30 for his second goal of the season and a 3-1 Monarchs lead.
Toffoli added an empty net goal, his second goal of the game, at 19:11 to seal a 4-1 Monarchs win.
NOTES... Final shots were 33-32 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 0-3-0-0 with a 3.37 goals-against-average and .863 save percentage... Tarasov has a three game point streak (2-2-4)... Matt Pelech made his season debut for Worcester after appearing in three games for San Jose... Schwartz and Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson were both minus-3... Sharks forwards Brodie Reid, James Livingston and Riley Brace (rookie) each had a game high four shots on goal... Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Adam Comrie (scr), Nick Petrecki (scr), Collin Bowman (inj), Lane Scheidl (inj) and Marek Viedensky (inj) did not dress for the Sharks... The Sharks only played with 17 skaters as Sommer mistakenly wrote down Bonneau's name and number on the lineup card instead of the name and number of Comrie, who was dressed and on the ice for warmups (via Darryl Hunt of Sharkspage.com)... This was the first time the Sharks have lost by more than one goal this season... This was the first of 12 meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 0-1-0-0 against the Monarchs this season, 1-2-0-0 at the DCU Center, 1-1-0-0 against the Atlantic Division and 1-3-0-0 with 2 points overall.
1. Tanner Pearson - Monarchs (1-1-2)
2. Martin Jones - Monarchs (32 saves, WIN)
3. Dylan DeMelo - Sharks (0-1-1)