WorSharks rack up shots but not goals in 2-1 loss to Manchester

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, November 13, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

The Worcester Sharks fired a season high 47 shots on goal but could only connect once in a 2-1 loss to the Manchester Monarchs in a fight filled contest Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 3,405 fans.

It didn’t take long for fans to know this game was going to be a physical contest as there were several big hits in the first few minutes of the opening period, with Mike Moore’s booming check on Brandon Kozun along the near side boards being the most noteworthy. Those near side boards would get quite the workout as the game moved along.

Worcester caught a few breaks in quick succession early in the period that lead to their only goal of the contest. After the WorSharks bounced the puck along the near boards to clear their zone Tommy Wingels stole the puck away from the Manchester defense and broke down the left wing side two on one with Mike Connolly. Monarchs defenseman Jake Muzzin got enough of the cross ice pass to make it so all Connolly could do was bat the puck toward the Manchester net. After a couple of bounces off the pile of players in front of the net the puck dropped right to the ice in front of Wingels, who swatted the puck through the five hole of Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff for the 1-0 lead at 6:47 of the first.

The physical play continued throughout the period, and several times Monarchs enforcer Justin Johnson tried to get Frazer McLaren, in Worcester on a conditioning loan, to drop the mitts. Each time another WorSharks would enter the scrum and the linesmen would keep the teams separated. Johnson finally got his chance on a face-off deep in the WorSharks zone late in the period with both taking the draw. It was clear McLaren wasn’t interested in fighting, but that didn’t stop Johnson. The fight was pretty one sides and Johnson got the extra minor, although not for the instigator should have been called for.

The second period would see the hard hits continue, and it didn’t take long for tempers to boil over again when Jordan Nolan threw a big hit on Benn Ferriero along the near side boards well after the play had passed by. Several WorSharks players went after Nolan but it was Brandon Mashinter that got to him first as eventually all ten skaters would pair up. Mashinter landed several blows before they pair fell to the ice, and only the two would be penalized, with Mashinter earning an extra two for roughing at 2:04 of the middle stanza. The WorSharks actually caught a break by jumping Nolan as Manchester was off on a breakaway that was blown dead by the fights.

The third fight of the game will be talked about at the DCU Center for a long time to come and it all started after–what else–a big hit along the near boards side when Richard Clune boarded Brodie Reid. Sena Acolatse skated over to challenge Clune, and the two dropped the mitts and skated to center ice where Acolatse laid a beat down on the veteran forward. A left by Acolatse early in the fight cut Clune’s right cheek wide open requiring a trip to the trainer’s room.

From that point on both teams seemed to realize they were in a 1-0 hockey game and the intensity on the ice picked up. Manchester had two great chances to pull back to even but a Connolly blocked shot when WorSharks netminder Tyson Sexsmith was down and out kept Worcester in the lead, and a Sexsmith great glove save on Clune’s bid a few moments later kept the score even.

Unfortunately Worcester couldn’t escape the period with the lead when Justin Azevedo collected a cross ice pass from Linden Vey and fired a blast from the circle to the left of Sexsmith at 19:00 of the period. Matt Irwin had a golden chance to get the WorSharks the lead back just before time expired but Zatkoff was able to get just enough of the defenseman’s bid to send the game into period number three even at 1-1.

The WorSharks totally owned the third period in every way imaginable except for the most important one–goals. Slava Voynov grabbed the game winner for the Monarchs at 3:16 of the last stanza on an absolute laser from the left point that beat Sexsmith and just squeezed under the cross bar. Worcester would carry the play in the third period outshooting Manchester 23-5, and had two consecutive chances bounce off the right side post late in the game, but they couldn’t light the lamp again.

Worcester had three healthy scratches: Jimmy Bonneau, Tony Lucia, and Matt Pelech. Ryan Del Monte and Ben Guite are both out with lower body injuries. Harri Sateri was the back-up netminder. Prior to the game Frazer McLaren was assigned to Worcester on a two week conditioning stint. He was the only skater for Worcester without a shot on goal in the game.

As Sharkspage predicted a scoring change for Friday’s game has added an assist to Matt Irwin on John McCarthy’s three on five shorthanded goal.

It was not a great night in the San Jose organization as not only did the WorSharks lose, but San Jose lost 3-0 to Phoenix and the Stockton Thunder dropped an overtime contest in Las Vegas 4-3. The Thunder’s game looks very entertaining by the box score with two fights taking place in the first four seconds of the contest. Sharks goaltending prospect Thomas Heemskerk was not in goal for Stockton.

The WorSharks were again a perfect 5-5 on the penalty kill, and their power play drought has hit 15 chances with Saturday’s oh-fer-six.

The three stars of the game were:
1. MCH – Zatkoff (46 saves)
2. MCH – Voynov (gwg)
3. WOR – Wingels (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Mike Connolly. It was real tough to not pick Sena Acolatse here, but Connolly’s overall play in the game gets him the edge.

Even strength lines



Manchester 0 1 1 – 2
Worcester 1 0 0 – 1

1st Period-1, Worcester, Wingels 1 (Connolly), 6:47. Penalties-Doherty Wor (tripping), 9:58; Moore Wor (delay of game), 11:42; Kozun Mch (tripping), 13:29; Johnson Mch (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 17:14; McLaren Wor (fighting), 17:14.

2nd Period-2, Manchester, Azevedo 4 (Vey, King), 19:00. Penalties-Nolan Mch (fighting), 2:04; Mashinter Wor (roughing, fighting), 2:04; Clune Mch (boarding, fighting), 4:42; Acolatse Wor (fighting), 4:42; Ferriero Wor (holding), 11:12; Meckler Mch (tripping), 12:38.

3rd Period-3, Manchester, Voynov 2 (Cliche, Clune), 3:16. Penalties-Azevedo Mch (boarding), 7:06; Campbell Mch (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:33; Wingels Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:33; Mullen Mch (interference), 10:06; McCarthy Wor (tripping), 19:38.

Shots on Goal-Manchester 6-14-5-25. Worcester 10-14-23-47.
Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 0 / 5; Worcester 0 / 6.
Goalies-Manchester, Zatkoff 3-2-1 (47 shots-46 saves). Worcester, Sexsmith 2-2-2 (25 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Chris Millea (33), Ed Boyle (81).

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