Coming into Wednesday night's game at the DCU Center, the Worcester Sharks were looking to improve their playoff chances by moving to within four points of the Hershey Bears for the eighth and final playoff spot in the AHL Eastern Conference. Instead, the Sharks were defeated 3-1 by their Atlantic Division rivals the Manchester Monarchs and find themselves in 11th place, six points behind the Bears with two games in hand.
Rookie left winger Peter Sivak had the lone goal for the Sharks while goaltender Harri Sateri was pulled for backup Thomas Heemskerk at 7:18 of the second period after allowing three goals on 25 shots.
The Monarchs took a 1-0 lead at 8:59 of the first period when defenseman Justin LoVerde slammed home a rebound from just inside the right face-off circle past a diving Sateri, who had made the initial save on Monarchs right winger Anthony Stewart. The goal was LoVerde's second of the season.
Just 29-seconds into the second period and with a power play advantage, Monarchs defenseman David Kolomatis extended the lead to 2-0 with his sixth goal of the season off a quick snap shot from the left face-off dot that beat Sateri blocker side for what held up as the game-winning-goal.
Monarchs right winger Brandon Kozun made it 3-0 at 7:18 with his 24th goal of the season off a quick wrist shot from the top of the right slot that beat Sateri blocker side and ended Sateri's night in net as Heemskerk saw his first AHL action this season. Shots were 25-10 in favor of the Monarchs at the time of Sateri's departure.
Sivak ended Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones' shutout attempt at 13:32 when he finished off a give-and-go with linemate Bracken Kearns by beating Jones blocker side with a quick shot from inside the left slot for his second goal of the season. Sharks captain John McCarthy was credited with the secondary assist.
Despite having the final four power plays of the game following Sivak's goal and out shooting the Monarchs 19-7 in the third period (31-9 after the goaltending change), the Sharks couldn't get the puck past Jones, who finished with 40 saves for his 21st win of the season.
NOTES... Shots were 41-34 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill... Sateri made his 10th consecutive start and is now 14-16-3 with a 2.70 goals-against-average and .909 save percentage... Heemskerk made nine saves in 30:10 of relief playing time... Sivak has two goals and seven shots on goal in four games with the Sharks... Kearns and Sharks rookies Daniil Tarasov, Matt Tennyson and Denny Urban each had five shots on goal... The Sharks recalled Tommy Grant from the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL on March 25... Curt Gogol (inj), Nick Petrecki (inj), Brodie Reid (inj), Marek Viedensky (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Taylor Doherty (scr) and Lane Scheidl (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the 10th of 12 meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 5-5-0-0 against the Monarchs this season, 13-13-1-4 at the DCU Center and 29-27-1-6 with 65 points overall.
1. Vincent LoVerde - Monarchs (1-0-1)
2. Brandon Kozun - Monarchs (1-0-1)
3. Martin Jones - Monarchs (40 saves, WIN)