Playing the final game of their three-in-three weekend, the Worcester Sharks rallied in the third period from a two goal deficit and defeated the Atlantic Division leading Manchester Monarchs (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) 3-2 in the shootout Sunday evening at the DCU Center.
The Sharks, who improved to 4-0 in the shootout this season, got third period goals from defenseman Matt Tennyson and rookie forward Rylan Schwartz 2:43 apart while forwards Dan DaSilva and Sebastian Stalberg scored in the shootout. Rookie goaltender Troy Grosenick made 18 saves (4-of-5 in the shootout) for his fourth win of the season.
"We played two of our best games of the year the last two nights and I thought we deserved to come away with two points in both of them," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com.
Despite having two power play opportunities and out-shooting the Monarchs 8-5 in the first period, the Sharks found themselves trailing 1-0 at the intermission as a result of Monarchs forward Scott Sabourin beating Grosenick over the blocker with a quick slap shot from on top of the right face-off circle for his sixth goal of the season at 19:33.
In a slow moving second period, the Monarchs extended their lead to 2-0 at 12:41 on a soft goal that saw forward Maxim Kitsyn surprise Grosenick with a shot from near the center ice face-off dot for his first career AHL goal.
"You try to treat one goal like any other one," said Grosenick in a post game interview with Ballou. "You take a couple of deep breaths, maybe say a curse word, then put it behind you and concentrate on the next shot. I felt like I let the guys down when that one went in and when we made it 2-2, that was it. Nothing else was getting by me so we could have a chance to win that game."
Tennyson cut the Monarchs lead in half at 4:11 of the third period with a power play goal, his first goal of the season, when he followed his shot from the left face-off circle, corralled the rebound in the slot and fired the puck from deep inside the right face-off circle past Monarchs goaltender Jean-Francois Berube. Sharks forward Bracken Kearns and defenseman Adam Comrie were credited with the assists.
Schwartz tied the game at 6:54 with his second goal of the season off a snap shot from near the right point that snuck past Berube. Kearns and Sharks rookie defenseman Dylan DeMelo were credited with the assists.
After a scoreless overtime session that saw one shot on goal combined, the teams headed to the shootout where DaSilva and Monarchs forward Brandon Kozun exchanged goals in the bottom of the first and top of the second rounds respectively before Stalberg beat Berube with a quick shot from in the slot in the bottom of the fourth round to put the Sharks ahead 2-1. Sabourin had a chance to extend the shootout but Grosenick forced his shot wide, sealing a 3-2 Sharks win.
NOTES... Final shots were 32-20 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill... Grosenick is now 4-2-0 with a 2.03 goals-against-average and .920 save percentage... Tennyson had a game high four shots on goal... Kearns had two assists and was the only player on both teams to have a multi-point game... Sharks defenseman Nick Petrecki skated in his 250th game and is now three behind Mike Moore's all-time franchise record of 253 (via Ballou)... For the three-in-three weekend, the Sharks took four out of a possible six points... The Sharks have only scored nine goals in their last six games but are 4-1-1-0 in those games as all four wins came in the shootout (via SharksAHL.com)... This was the third of 12 meetings between the Sharks and Monarchs this season... The Sharks are 1-2-0-0 against the Monarchs, 4-5-0-0 at the DCU Center and 7-8-1-0 with 15 points overall... The Sharks are back in action November 29 at 7pm/et as they travel to play the Portland Pirates.
1. Rylan Schwartz - Sharks (1-0-1)
2. Bracken Kearns - Sharks (0-2-2)
3. Sebastian Stalberg - Sharks (SO GWG)
Schwartz / Kearns (A) / DaSilva
Hayes / Hamilton / Stalberg
Gogol / Oleksuk / Livingston
Bonneau (A) / Brace / Pelech
Comrie / Doherty
Davison (C) / Tennyson
Petrecki / DeMelo