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Goldobin scores twice but Worcester falls 4-2 in Manchester

Worcester Sharks forward Nikolay Goldobin, seen here in action on April 12, had two goals in the Sharks' 4-2 loss to the Manchester Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena Saturday night (teamshred.smugmug.com)
Worcester Sharks forward Nikolay Goldobin, seen here in action on April 12, had two goals in the Sharks' 4-2 loss to the Manchester Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena Saturday night (teamshred.smugmug.com)

A day after clinching their first Calder Cup Playoff berth since the 2009-10 season, Worcester Sharks head coach Roy Sommer decided to give forwards Bryan Lerg, Chris Tierney, Barclay Goodrow, and defensemen Karl Stollery, Dylan DeMelo and Taylor Fedun the day off for what he called "a maintenance day."

Though forward Nikolay Goldobin scored two first period goals, which were both assisted by linemate Evan Trupp, and goaltender Troy Grosenick made 34 saves on 37 shots, the Sharks were defeated 4-2 by the first place Manchester Monarchs (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) Saturday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

It only took the Monarchs 32-seconds to take a 1-0 lead as forward Michael Mersch got a piece of defenseman Nick Ebert's slap shot from the right point off a clean faceoff win inside the Sharks' zone for his 22nd goal of the season.

Goldobin tied the game at 5:39 with his second goal of the season off a quick backhanded shot from in close that beat Monarchs goaltender Jean-Francois Berube. Sharks forwards Rylan Schwartz and Trupp were credited with the assists on the goal, which was Goldobin's first since his Sharks debut back on April 3.

The Monarchs regained the lead at 12:06 when forward Scott Sabourin buried home a rebound for his fifth goal of the season. Goldobin tied the game at 15:23 with a quick shot while on the move from the right circle the went in off the cross after corralling a feed from Trupp, who won a battle for the puck in the right corner of the Monarchs zone.

Just as it appeared the Sharks were going to head into the first intermission tied with the Monarchs, Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty turned the puck over to Monarchs forward Jordan Weal in the left circle of his own zone and Weal fired a snap shot past Grosenick at 19:38 for his 20th goal of the season, which held up as the game-winning-goal.

After 38 minutes of scoreless hockey that saw several good saves by both goaltenders and a total of two penalties called (one for both teams), Grosenick was pulled for the extra attacker and Monarchs forward Josh Gratton sealed a Monarchs win with an empty net goal at 18:38.

NOTES... Shots on goal were 38-30 in favor of the Monarchs... The Sharks went 0-for-1 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill... Grosenick is now 20-13-3 with a 2.63 goals-against-average and .906 save percentage... Trupp had a game high six shots on goal... The Sharks' power play is 5-for-65 in its last 15 games (via Bill Ballou)... Sharks defenseman and 2014 San Jose draftee Julius Bergman made his professional debut and wore no. 48... The Sharks dressed nine AHL rookies... The Sharks can finish either as the sixth or seventh seed and will play either the Hershey Bears or Hartford Wolf Pack in the first round of the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs... This was the 12th and final meeting between the Sharks and Monarchs this season... The Sharks went 4-7-1 against the Monarchs, 19-16-3 on the road and are 41-28-6 with 88 points overall... The Sharks conclude their regular season Sunday afternoon (April 19) as they host the Portland Pirates at 3 p.m/et in their final regular season game at the DCU Center.

THREE STARS
1. Jordan Weal - Monarchs (1-0-1, GWG)
2. Nick Ebert - Monarchs (0-2-2)
3. Nikolay Goldobin - Sharks (2-0-2)

LINES
Ciampini / Carpenter / Hayes
Haley (A) / Oleksuk (A) / Tarasov
Goldobin / Trupp / Schwartz
Bonneau / Doremus / Willows

DEFENSE
Taormina (A) / Tennyson
Ryan / Doherty
Young / Bergman

GOALIES
Grosenick
Dell

SCRATCHES
Anderson
DeMelo
Fedun
Goodrow
Lerg
Stollery 
Tierney
Coetzee (inj)
Emanuelsson (inj)
Langlois (inj)
McCarthy (inj)
Parkes (inj)