Despite out-shooting the opposition 40-25 and having eight power play opportunities through the first two periods, the Worcester Sharks saw their six game point streak snapped as they were defeated 3-1 by their Atlantic Division rival the Manchester Monarchs (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) at the DCU Center Friday night.
"Our power play was useless," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "Everything was from the perimeter. Nobody wanted to go to the front of the net. We had some guys who didn't have it going tonight. Our guys are just not finishing. You can talk about it all you want, but you've got to put it in the net."
The Sharks' lone goal was scored by second year forward Daniil Tarasov, who scored his team leading ninth goal of the season at 19:04 of the first period to put the Sharks ahead 1-0. With the Sharks on their fourth power play of the period, Tarasov deked around two Monarchs defenders and snapped a shot from on top of the face-off circles that beat Monarchs goaltender Jean-Francois Berube blocker side. Sharks defensemen Matt Tennyson and Adam Comrie were credited with the assists.
The Monarchs tied the game at 16:04 of the second period when defenseman (and team captain) Andrew Campbell beat Sharks rookie goaltender Troy Grosenick blocker side with a snap shot from the top of the slot to finish off a 3-on-1 rush created by a sloppy Sharks line change.
Just 41-seconds after Campbell's goal, the Sharks went a four-minute power play as Monarchs defenseman Andy Andreoff was assessed penalties for holding and unsportsmanlike conduct. However, the Sharks failed to capitalize on the power play opportunity.
"We did nothing on that power play," said Sommer. "I think we had one (scoring) chance."
In the third period, Monarchs rookie forward A.J. Gale, a call-up from the Denver Cutthroats of the Central Hockey League (CHL), scored two goals in a 3:21 span to put the Monarchs ahead 3-1. Gale's first goal of the game, second of the season, came at 3:28 when he buried home the rebound from point blank range of linemate Scott Sabourin's left wing shot for what held up as the game-winning-goal. Gale added an insurance goal, his third goal of the season, at 6:49 off a tap in from the right side of the goal crease.
The Sharks, who out-shot the Monarchs 28-12 through two periods, fired 12 more shots on goal in the third period but couldn't get the puck past Berube, who finished with 39 saves. The Sharks' best scoring chance came midway through the period when forward Brodie Reid hit the crossbar.
"Our power play wasn't that good," said Sharks rookie forward Eriah Hayes in a post game interview with Ballou. "We didn't put pucks on the net, and we didn't have enough urgency, and their goalie played well."
NOTES... Final shots were 40-25 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-8 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill... The Sharks are 1-for-16 on the power play in their last three games and 3-for-39 in their last nine (via Ballou)... Grosenick made 22 saves in defeat and fell to 5-3-0 with a 2.01 goals-against-average and .922 save percentage... Sharks forward Curt Gogol had a game high five shots on goal... Tarasov left the game with a groin injury... Before the game, San Jose loaned forward Freddie Hamilton back to Worcester but didn't dress due to travel... The Sharks have out-shot their opponents in nine straight games (314-228) but have only outscored the opposition 21-18 (via Ballou)... Forward Ryan McDonough, who had an assist in eight games for the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL, was released from his AHL Contract by the Sharks on December 10... This was the fifth of 12 meetings between the Sharks and Monarchs this season... The Sharks are 2-3-0-0 against the Monarchs this season, 5-6-0-1 at the DCU Center and 10-9-1-1 with 22 points overall... The Sharks are back in action December 14 as they travel to play their Atlantic Division rival the Portland Pirates at 7pm/et.
1. Jean-Francois Berube - Monarchs (39 saves, WIN)
2. A.J. Gale - Monarchs (2-0-2, GWG)
3. Andrew Campbell - Monarchs (1-0-1)
Tarasov / Kearns (A) / DaSilva
Hayes / Viedensky (A) / Schwartz
Reid / Oleksuk / Livingston
Gogol / Brace / Pelech
Comrie / Doherty
Davison (C) / Tennyson
Abeltshauser / Acolatse