Playing the first game of a four game road trip, the Worcester Sharks saw their losing streak extend to three games after a 5-1 loss to the Manchester Monarchs (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) Wednesday morning at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Forward Evan Trupp had the lone goal for the Sharks, who have scored a total of three goals during their current losing streak, while goaltender J.P. Anderson made 35 saves in his fourth consecutive start.
"Either we're really slow, or they're really fast," said a bewildered Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "The bottom line is that, for one of the first times this season, we were out-competed for 60 minutes. Why? They had to get up at the same time we did."
"You've got to be ready for them here and we weren't," said Sharks captain Bryan Lerg to Ballou. "They out-executed us in all of our systems. They out-competed us. So, (Thursday) is a teaching day for us with a big road trip ahead."
In a first period that saw the Sharks outshot 18-6, the Monarchs took a 1-0 lead at 10:47 when forward Zach O'Brien tapped the puck into an open net to finish off a three-on-two odd man rush for his first goal of the season. The goal, which was generated in transition after Sharks forward Chris Tierney had his shot from deep in the left circle stopped by Monarchs goaltender Jean-Francois Berube, came with the Monarchs having a 10-1 shots on goal advantage.
With the Sharks on a power play in the second period, Monarchs forward Brian O'Neill stole the puck from Sharks forward Danill Tarasov in the Monarchs zone, skated into the Sharks zone and sent a diagonal pass from the left circle that deflected off the right skate of Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson and into the net for a shorthanded goal, O'Neill's fifth goal of the season.
After some nice cycling work in the right corner of the Monarchs zone, Trupp got the Sharks on the scoreboard at 9:31 when he found a rebound on the edge of the right circle and fired the puck past Berube for his third goal of the season. Sharks forwards Rylan Schwartz and Tierney had the assists on the goal.
Any hopes the Sharks had of a comeback were dashed 44-seconds later when hemmed in their own zone, O'Neill sent a centering feed from deep in the right circle that deflected off the skate of Sharks forward Melker Karlsson and in for O'Neill's second goal of the game.
"The next shift didn't get it done after we put 'em out there," said Sommer to Ballou of the Karlsson, Michael Haley and Ryan Carpenter line. "We got scored on right away and that's when you gotta keep the momentum and we didn't."
At 5:59 of the third period, Monarchs defenseman Colin Miller beat Anderson with backhanded shot from the left side of the crease to finish off a Monarchs odd man rush for his fifth goal of the season. At 19:45, Monarchs defenseman Kevin Gravel knocked the puck past Anderson on an odd man rush for his first goal of the season and to punctuate a 5-1 Monarchs win.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 40-23 in favor of the Monarchs... The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill... Anderson is now 1-4-0 with a 3.03 goals-against-average and .892 save percentage... Sharks defensive pairing of Dylan DeMelo and Taylor Doherty finished a combined minus-six (minus-three each)... Sharks forward Jeremy Langlois had a team high four shots on goal... The Monarchs are 15-1-3 against the Sharks since Jan. 1, 2013 (via SharksAHL.com)... Game time was 10:05 am/et as it was Education Day... This was the second of 12 meetings between the Sharks and Monarchs this season... The Sharks are 0-2-0 against the Monarchs, 3-2-0 on the road and 8-6-1 with 17 points overall... The Sharks continue their road trip Friday night (Nov. 21) as they travel to play the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 7:05 pm/et.
1. Brian O'Neill - Monarchs (2-1-3)
2. Zach O'Brien - Monarchs (1-1-2)
3. Nick Shore - Monarchs (0-2-2)
Tarasov / Hamilton / Langlois
Lerg (C) / Tierney / Hayes
Haley (A) / Karlsson / Carpenter
Schwartz / Oleksuk / Trupp
Taromina (A) / Tennyson
Abeltshauser / Fedun
DeMelo / Doherty