Monarchs Fin-ish Off Sharks
WORCESTER, MA – The Manchester Monarchs grabbed an early lead and held on to defeat the Worcester Sharks, 3-1, at the DCU Center on Wednesday night.
Manchester (31-28-3-4) is in third place in the Atlantic Division with 69 points. Worcester (29-27-1-6) is in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 65 points.
“Our first period and a half, we played poised and executed well,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “We got off track and let Worcester back in the game with some risky decisions with the puck on our sticks. Thanks to Martin Jones, he kept the lead for us with a number of quality stops. The chaos we endured was self-inflicted. Hopefully, we learned something tonight. Every point is important, so we will need everyone making good smart decisions moving forward.”
Defenseman David Kolomatis gave the Monarchs a 2-0 lead with a power play goal 29 seconds into the second period. Left wing Tanner Pearson played the puck to center Linden Vey at the right point. Vey fed Kolomatis at the left point. Kolomatis carried the puck down the left wing half wall and into the left wing face-off circle before wristing a shot high over the stick side shoulder of Sharks netminder Harri Sateri for his sixth goal of the season and the eventual game-winning goal.
Manchester opened the scoring with a goal by defenseman Vincent LoVerde at 8:59 of the first period. Right wing Brian O’Neill gained the Sharks zone on the right wing before laying it back for forward Ian O’Connor in between the face-off circles. O’Connor played the puck back to O’Neill on the right doorstep. O’Neill fed right wing Anthony Stewart inside the left wing circle where he took a quick wrist shot. Stewart’s shot produced a rebound in the right wing face-off circle. LoVerde grabbed the loose puck and took a shot that was denied again by Sateri.. LoVerde got his own rebound and wristed a shot into the back of the net from the bottom of the right wing face-off circle for his second goal of the season.
Right wing Brandon Kozun scored at 7:18 of the second period to give the Monarchs a 3-0 lead. Center Jordan Weal grabbed a loose puck in the Monarchs zone and played it to Kozun on the left wing. Kozun gained speed through the neutral zone and skated to the top of the left wing face-off circle of the Sharks zone before skating across to the top of the right wing face-off circle. Kozun then wristed a shot midway up the stick side of Sateri for the goal. Left wing Colton Yellow Horn also tallied an assist on Kozun’s 24th goal of the season.
Worcester cut the deficit to 3-1 with a goal by left wing Peter Sivak at 13:32 of the second period. Left wing John McCarthy sent an indirect pass off the boards on the right wing as the Sharks gained the zone. Center Bracken Kearns grabbed the indirect pass and skated down the right wing half wall and fed Sivak in the slot. Sivak finished the play burying the puck into the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
Sharks netminder Thomas Heemskerk relieved Sateri following the Monarchs third goal.
Monarchs netminder Martin Jones (21-22-4) earned his 21st victory of the season making 40 saves on 41 shots including 19 saves in the third period. Sateri (14-16-3) took his 16th loss of the season stopping all 25 shots faced. Heemskerk made saves on all nine shots he faced in relief of Sateri.
Manchester went 1-for-4 on the power play. Worcester went 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs sit in ninth place and two points behind the seventh and eighth place teams in the Eastern Conference with the top eight seeds making the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs…Right wing Brandon Kozun has a three-game point streak (2-2=4)…Defenseman Vincent LoVerde is also on a three-game point streak (1-2=3).
The Monarchs travel to take on the Portland Pirates at the Cumberland County Civic Center for the 11th VIP Cup match-up of the season on Friday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m. Catch all the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR 610 AM, WGIR.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.