In a game that could've cured the most serious case of insomnia, the Worcester Sharks saw their six game point streak snapped in a 2-1 loss to their Atlantic Division rival the Manchester Monarchs (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) Friday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The Sharks, who are five points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with two games in hand, got 25 saves from goaltender Harri Sateri while defenseman Matt Tennyson scored the Sharks' lone goal.
The Monarchs took a 1-0 lead at 14:36 of the first period when forward Brian O'Neill scored his 10th goal of the season off a backhanded tap in from the left side of the crease. The goal, which came minutes after O'Neill hit both posts on a snap shot from just inside the right face-off circle off a shorthanded rush, was set up by linemate Nick Shore's across the crease backhanded pass from deep in the left slot.
After a scoreless second period that saw the Sharks out-shoot the Monarchs 15-11, the Monarchs extended their lead to 2-0 at 6:20 of the third period when forward Zach O'Brien fired a slap shot from the right face-off circle past Sateri for his fourth goal of the season.
Tennyson cut the Monarchs lead in half at 11:46 with a power play goal, his fourth goal of the season, off a one-timer blast from on top of the left face-off circle that beat Monarchs goaltender Jean-Francois Berube. Sharks rookie defenseman Dylan DeMelo and forward Freddie Hamilton were credited with the assists.
Despite out-shooting the Monarchs 13-6 for the period, the Sharks couldn't get the tying goal past Berube, who finished with 32 saves for the win.
NOTES... Final shots were 33-27 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 11-14-1 with a 2.90 goals-against-average and .895 save percentage... Sharks forward Dan DaSilva had a game high five shots on goal... Forward Chris Crane was reassigned to the Sharks from the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL on Jan. 22... Crane made his season debut and wore no. 33... The AHL made a scoring change to Tuesday night's game against the Portland Pirates as Sharks forward Yanni Gourde is now credited as having a four-point game on four assists... This was the sixth of twelve meetings between the Sharks and Monarchs this season... The Sharks are 2-4-0-0 against the Monarchs, 10-9-3-0 on the road and 19-16-3-1 with 42 points overall... The Sharks return home to the DCU Center on Saturday night (Jan. 25) to host the Providence Bruins at 7pm/et.
1. Jean-Francois Berube - Monarchs (32 saves, WIN)
2. Zach O'Brien - Monarchs (1-0-1)
3. Brian O'Neill - Monarchs (1-0-1)
Scheidl / Hamilton (A) / Gron
Gourde / Oleksuk / DaSilva (A)
Schwartz / Viedensky / Livingston
Gogol / Crane / Comrie
Abeltshauser / Acolatse
DeMelo / Davison (C)
Petrecki / Tennyson