The Worcester Sharks swim upstream into AHL Calder Cup playoff contention hit a strong current as they were defeated 5-1 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 nine points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 10 games to go, had their lone goal scored by rookie defenseman Dylan DeMelo while goaltender Harri Sateri made 21 saves.
"Who was the more desperate team in the playoff hunt? It sure didn't look like us," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "At the end of the game there, they were just (playing) with us. They were passing the puck back-and-forth, passing up shots. Just (playing) with us. I didn't see anything good about that game. It was embarrassing."
The Monarchs jumped out to 4-0 lead in the first period as they got goals from forwards James Livingston (1:21), Hunter Bishop (9:18), Steve Quailer (14:55) and Brian O'Neill, whose goal came on the power play (18;46). For the period, the Monarchs outshot the Sharks 13-6.
After a scoreless second period, DeMelo spoiled Monarchs goaltender Jean-Francois Berube's shutout bid at 3:36 of the third period when he buried home his own rebound. Sharks forwards Adam Schmidt and Travis Oleksuk were credited with the assists.
Any hopes the Sharks had of getting back into the game were quickly dashed by O'Neill, who scored his second power play goal of the game at 6:40 to seal a Monarchs victory.
NOTES... Final shots on goal were 28-26 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 17-22-1 with a 2.95 goals-against-average and .891 save percentage... Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson had a game high four shots on goal... Sharks forward Dan DaSilva had his point streak snapped at eight games (4-7-11)... The Sharks have been held to one goal or fewer in 20 of their 66 games this season... This was the 11th of 12 meetings between the Sharks and Monarchs this season... The Sharks are 4-7-0-0 against the Monarchs, 16-17-3-0 on the road and 32-30-3-1 with 68 points overall... The Sharks are back in action Saturday night (March 29) as they travel to take on the Albany Devils at 5pm/et.
1. Brian O'Neill - Monarchs (2-1-3)
2. Jean-Francois Berube - Monarchs (27 saves, Win)
3. Colin Miller - Monarchs (0-3-3)
Kearns (A) / Rau / DaSilva
Schwartz / Viedensky / Reid
Carpenter / Oleksuk / Schmidt
Bonneau (A) / Higgs/ Hayes
Abeltshauser / Doherty
DeMelo / Tennyson
Comrie / Pelech