Goals by the returning Jordan Nolan (he’d been out since the first game of the season with a hand injury), Nick Deslauriers and Andrew Bodnarchuk weren’t enough last night. The Monarchs lost to the Sharks 4-3 in overtime.
Kings’ prospect Brandon Kozun picked up another assist, extending his team leading points total to 14.
Here are some highlights and post-game comments…
Game recap provided via team press release…
MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs came back from an early 2-0 deficit only to fall in overtime, 4-3 against the Worcester Sharks at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.
Manchester (8-6-1-1) and the Sharks (8-6-1-1) are tied for first place in the Atlantic Division with 18 points each.
“I’m really disappointed with our inability to defend,” said Monarch Head Coach Mark Morris. “We made some awful decisions in our own zone. At critical moments we had confusion and disarray. Obviously, we need to work on getting our guys to become better defenders.”
Center Freddie Hamilton sealed the victory for Worcester with a goal at 2:59 in overtime. Defenseman Danny Groulx took the puck at the right wing half wall and passed it to Hamilton in between the hash marks. Hamilton deked to his backhand before bringing the puck over with his forehand and sliding the puck in at the right doorstep for the game-winning goal.
The Sharks opened the scoring 50 seconds into the first period with a power play goal from center Tim Kennedy. Defenseman Danny Groulx passed the puck to Kennedy at the top of the right wing face-off circle. Kennedy fired a wrist shot that beat Jones high on the glove side for the goal. Defensemen Sena Acolatse also tallied an assist on Kennedy’s sixth goal of the season.
The Sharks pushed their lead to 2-0 with a goal from center Curt Gogol. Defenseman Matt Tennyson took a slap shot from the right point that was deflected by Gogol beating Jones at 3:17 of the first period. Gogol’s second goal of the season was also assisted by right wing James Livingston.
Defenseman Nick Deslauriers scored a power play goal at 6:03 of the opening frame to pull the Monarchs within a goal at 2-1. Deslauriers started with the puck at the left point and passed it to defenseman Slava Voynov at the center point. Deslauriers proceeded to skate behind Voynov who then played the puck back to Deslauriers at the right point. Deslauriers skated down to the right wing half wall where he took a wrist shot beating Sharks goaltender Harri Sateri midway up on the stick side. Center Linden Vey also tallied an assist on Deslauriers’ first goal of the season.
Manchester tied the game at 2-2 with a goal from right wing Jordan Nolan at 14:56 of the second period. Defenseman Thomas Hickey took a slap shot from the center point which Sateri deflected. Right wing Brandon Kozun swiped the loose puck toward Nolan at the right door step. Nolan banged in the puck behind Sateri for his first goal of the season.
The Monarchs took the lead at 16:44 of the second period with a goal from defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk. From the left point, Hickey found Bodnarchuk at the right point. Bodnarchuk took a slap shot that fought through screens for the goal. Bodnarchuk’s second goal of the season was also assisted by left wing Andy Andreoff.
Worcester tied the game at 3-3 with a goal from left wing John McCarthy at 13:13 of the third period. Jones denied an initial from the left point creating a loose puck in the slot. Center Bracken Kearns poked at the puck before Kennedy took the loose puck and played it to McCarthy who separated from the cluster of players and roofed a wrist shot for his second goal of the season.
Jones (7-5-2) took his second overtime loss of the season stopping 28-of-32 shots. Sateri (1-4-1) earned his first win of the season making 27 saves on 30 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-2 on the power play. Worcester was 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: Monarchs right wing Jordan Nolan scored a goal in his first game back from an injury which sidelined him for 14 games…Defenseman Nick Deslauriers scored a goal for the first time since January 15, 2012…Left wing Marc-Andre Cliche appeared in his 300th Monarchs game.
The Monarchs will take the ice again tonight, this time in Springfield vs. the Falcons. They’ll return home tomorrow for the final game of a back-to-back-to-back set. Their opponent will be the Portland Pirates, the team beat on Tuesday 5-1 and are 2-0 against this season.