Looking to put an end to their two game losing streak, the Worcester Sharks blew a three goal lead but were able to regroup and defeat their Atlantic Division rival the Manchester Monarchs (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) 4-3 in the shootout Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center.
"They got a point and we're chasing them, but they're so far ahead, I'm not sure we're really chasing them," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com.
After a quick moving first period, the Sharks took a 1-0 lead at 7:32 of the second period when enforcer Jimmy Bonneau found a loose puck on top of the goal crease and fired the puck past Monarchs goaltender Mathias Niederberger for his second goal of the season. Sharks forwards Marek Viedensky, who made a strong move to the net with the puck, and rookie Chris Crane were credited with the assists.
The Sharks extended their lead to 2-0 at 12:26 when defenseman Matt Tennyson ripped a one-timer from the left point past Niederberger for his fifth goal of the season. Sharks defenseman Adam Comrie and rookie forward Tyler Gron were credited with the assists. Just two minutes later, Sharks forward Yanni Gourde put the Sharks up 3-0 when he buried home a one-timer deep in the slot for a power play goal, his third goal of the season. Sharks forwards Dan DaSilva and Travis Oleksuk were credited with the assists.
Following Gourde's goal, Sharks forward Curt Gogol was assessed a two minute minor for clipping at 14:54. One of the least assessed penalties in the sport of hockey, clipping is defined as hitting an opposing player at or below their knees.
"I had never heard of a clipping penalty," said Gogol in a post game interview with Ballou. "He told me that I got my knee in there, but I didn't. I got him with my hip. He was trying to jump when it happened."
On the ensuing power play, the Monarchs only needed 30-seconds to capitalize as forward Jordan Weal redirected a centering feed on top of the crease past Sharks goaltender Harri Sateri for his 10th goal of the season.
The Monarchs pulled to within a goal at 18:22 when defenseman Colin Miller fired a slap shot from the top of the right point that got through traffic in front and beat Sateri for his third goal of the season. In the third period, the Monarchs tied the game at 8:54 when forward A.J. Gale beat Sateri, who was screened in front, with a one-timer from the right point for his seventh goal of the season.
Despite out-shooting the Monarchs 4-0 in the overtime session, the Sharks couldn't get the winning goal past Niederberger. After Monarchs forward Zach O'Brien and Gourde matched each other in the first round of the shootout, Sharks forward Dan DaSilva scored what held up as the game winning goal in the bottom of the third round as he beat Niederberger with a quick snap shot from on top of the crease. Monarchs forward Tanner Pearson had a chance to extend the shootout to a sixth round but fanned on his shot attempt to seal a 4-3 Sharks win.
NOTES... Final shots were 32-31 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill... Sateri made his sixth consecutive start and made 28 saves... Sateri is now 12-15-1 with a 2.90 goals-against-average and .895 save percentage... Sharks rookie defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser had a game high five shots on goal... Sharks defenseman Adam Comrie was a team best plus-two... Crane registered his first career AHL point with an assist on Bonneau's goal... Prior to the start of the game, the Sharks released goaltender Thomas Heemskerk from his PTO... Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty was loaned back to Worcester from San Jose but did not dress due to travel... This was the seventh of 12 meetings between the Sharks and Monarchs this season... The Sharks are 3-4-0-0 against the Monarchs, 10-8-0-1 at the DCU Center and 20-17-3-1 with 44 points overall... The Sharks continue their home stand on Wednesday night (Jan. 29) as they host the Binghamton Senators at 7pm/et.
1. Jordan Weal - Monarchs (1-1-2)
2. Matt Tennyson - Sharks (1-0-1)
3. Dan DaSilva - Sharks (Shootout GWG)
Scheidl / Hamilton (A) / Gron
Gourde / Oleksuk / DaSilva
Gogol / Schwartz / Livingston
Crane / Viedensky / Bonneau (A)
Abeltshauser / Acolatse
Comrie / Tennyson
DeMelo / Davison (C)