Kicking off their second consecutive three-in-three weekend, the Worcester Sharks were defeated 4-1 by 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 winless in four games against the Monarchs this season, had their lone goal scored by forward Jeremy Langlois while goaltender Troy Grosenick made 17 saves in net.
Though the shots on goal were even at eight a piece in the first period, it was the Monarchs who scored three times, starting with defenseman Vincent LoVerde at 5:44 when he pinched in for a rebound off the post and beat Grosenick with a quick snap shot from the right hash mark in the slot for a power play goal, his third goal of the season.
The Monarchs extended the lead to 2-0 at 13:05 when forward Andy Andreoff beat Grosenick with a one-timer from just inside the top of the left circle near the inside slot for a power play goal, his fourth goal of the season. A little over five minutes later at 18:25, LoVerde buried home a one-timer from deep in the right slot off a behind the net centering feed from Andreoff for his second goal of the game.
Langlois got the Sharks on the scoreboard at 16:40 of the second period when he beat Monarchs goaltender Patrik Bartosak on a breakaway for his fifth goal of the season. Sharks forwards Greger Hanson and Jimmy Bonneau had the assists on the goal, which was generated as the result of a breakout play in the Monarchs zone that was started by Langlois.
In the several minutes following Langlois' goal, the Sharks failed to capitalize on a couple of scoring chances that would've pulled them to within a goal, which were highlighted by a missed backhanded shot from the left circle by forward Daniil Tarasov and a missed shot from in the slot by forward Evan Trupp,
With 34-seconds remaining in the period, Andreoff ended any hopes the Sharks had of a comeback when he blasted a shot past Grosenick from the right circle for his second goal of the game.
"They're gonna miss (Andreoff)," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "That's a great line, but we gave them too much time. And we weren't ready to come out and play when the game started, and that's on us, not them. They came out and established that big lead early and sort of coasted."
NOTES... Shots on goal were 28-21 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill... Grosenick is now 7-5-1 with a 2.95 goals-against-average and .898 save percentage... Tarasov had a game high four shots on goal... Bonneau had a one punch TKO of Monarchs forward Josh Gratton at 10:34 of the first period... Sharks forward Eriah Hayes left the game midway through the first period with an apparent knee injury... Earlier in the week, the Sharks reassigned forward Rylan Schwartz to the Allen Americans of the ECHL and signed Americans forward Hanson to a PTO... This was the fourth of 12 meetings between the Sharks and Monarchs this season... The Sharks are 0-4-0 against the Monarchs, 4-8-0 on the road and 11-13-2 with 24 points overall... The Sharks continue their three-in-three weekend Saturday (Dec. 20) as they travel to play the Portland Pirates at 7pm/et.
1. Brian O'Neill - Monarchs (0-4-4)
2. Vincent LoVerde - Monarchs (2-0-2)
3. Andy Andreoff - Monarchs (2-1-3)
Tarasov / Oleksuk / Hamilton
Haley (A) / Burish / Carpenter
Lerg (C) / Trupp / Langlois
Bonneau / Hanson / Hayes
Abeltshauser / DeMelo
Young / Fedun
Taormina (A) / Jones