WorSharks ruin another great Sexsmith effort, lose 2-1 to Monarchs

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Thursday, November 24, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


The Worcester Sharks headed north to The White Mountain State for a Thanksgiving Eve contest against the Manchester Monarchs and came back home feeling like turkeys after giving up a late third period goal to drop a 2-1 contest Wednesday night at the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, New Hampshire in front of 2,950 fans.

With bad blood boiling between the two squads fans knew it wouldn’t take much to get the fists flying, and when Monarchs tough guy Justin Johnson bumped WorSharks netminder Tyson Sexsmith Frazer McLaren was there to answer the bell. Unlike their first encounter two weeks ago this time McLaren gave Johnson his full attention and earned an easy victory.

Later in the Matt Pelech caught WorSharks killer Jordan Nolan with his head down and threw a huge open ice hit on the winger, drawing the ire of Ray Kaunisto. Pelech is one of the true heavyweights of the AHL and Kaunisto is not much of a fighter, so the results were as one would expect as Pelech pounded his opponent until the linemen mercifully stepped in. Pelech earned an additional minor for checking Nolan in the head.

The first period ended scoreless, all due to some great goaltending by Sexsmith. The Monarchs had only six shots in the period, but most of the were high quality scoring chances that required some outstanding saves by Sexsmith. In one short stretch Sexsmith made an incredible stick save on Justin Azevedo and then stoned Dwight King on a follow up chance. The WorSharks couldn’t clear the puck and because of that Sexsmith was forced to make a total reaction save when a blast from the point deflected off defenseman Sena Acolatse and bounded toward the net.

The second period saw more fisticuffs, with Taylor Doherty taking on Nolan after being boarded behind the WorSharks net. Nolan didn’t get an additional penalty for boarding, but he did earn a 10-minute misconduct for bumping Curt Gogol on the way to the penalty box.

Manchester had the only goal in the middle period when King fed Kaunisto from the corner to the left of Sexsmith. Kaunisto skated across the mouth of the goal and fired a close in wrist shot that beat Sexsmith five-hole at 8:06. The Monarchs had another great chance in the period, but Robert Czarnik’s bid rang off the iron and bounced away harmlessly.

Some hard work by Tommy Wingels got the WorSharks back to even at 5:43 of the third period, but even then it took a lucky bounce to get one past Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones. Wingels first wheeled the net on the forehand to jam the puck home but Jones held firm and Tony Lucia fired the rebound wide. Wingels would again gain the puck behind the Manchester net, and this time wheeled toward the backhand. After a wild scramble at the far post the Wingels’ hard work was rewarded when he jammed the puck into the net for his second goal of the season. Lucia and Nathan Moon had the assists.

With 3:25 remaining in the third period Cam MacIntyre was called for a hook in the offensive zone, and with the help of a great Sexsmith glove save it looked like the WorSharks would escape the shorthanded situation, but a blueline shot by Marc-Andre Cliché took a bad bounce off Doherty’s stick and beat Sexsmith with just three seconds left on the penalty to give Manchester the 2-1 lead.

The WorSharks then spent the next 90 seconds trying to get the puck into the Monarchs to pull Sexsmith for an extra attacker but the offense was unable to get even that task accomplished as Worcester headed home looking like turkeys.

GAME NOTES
The scratches for Worcester were Jimmy Bonneau (healthy), Ryan Del Monte (thigh), Ben Guite (foot), Brandon Mashinter (unknown), Mike Moore (head), Sean Sullivan (lower body). The back-up netminder was Harri Sateri. Mashinter was injured in practice Tuesday and unofficially in the “day to day” category. Word is Del Monte could be ready to play this weekend.

Wednesday’s game was Frazer McLaren’s last under his two week conditioning loan. San Jose will now need to recall him or place him on waivers to assign him to the WorSharks roster full time. There are no forwards on San Jose’s roster that do not need to clear waivers to be assigned to the AHL. Justin Braun, a defenseman, is the only current roster player exempt from waivers.

What’s being overshadowed by Worcester’s anemic offense is some very good goaltending. Tyson Sexsmith is putting up some impressive numbers, with his 1.86 goals against average and .928 save percentage both being in the top ten in the AHL. In his first full North American season rookie Harri Sateri also has some decent numbers, with a 2.79 gaa and a.906 save percentage.

The three stars of the game were
1. MCH – Cliché (gwg)
2. WOR – Wingels (g)
3. MCH – Kaunisto (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Tyson Sexsmith.

BOXSCORE

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

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-McLaren Wor (fighting), 7:15; Johnson Mch (fighting), 7:15; Clune Mch (goaltender interference), 10:21; Petrecki Wor (kneeing), 11:29; Pelech Wor (checking to the head, fighting), 16:55; Kaunisto Mch (fighting), 16:55.

2nd Period-1, Manchester, Kaunisto 3 (King, Czarnik), 8:06. Penalties-Cliche Mch (hooking), 0:25; Doherty Wor (fighting), 4:15; Nolan Mch (fighting, misconduct – continuing altercation), 4:15; MacIntyre Wor (high-sticking), 8:28; Kaunisto Mch (high-sticking), 12:58; Lucia Wor (tripping), 19:46.

3rd Period-2, Worcester, Wingels 2 (Moon, Lucia), 5:43. 3, Manchester, Cliche 8 (Meckler, Mullen), 18:32 (PP). Penalties-Vey Mch (hooking), 0:58; Moon Wor (diving), 13:13; Nolan Mch (roughing), 13:13; MacIntyre Wor (hooking), 16:35.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 9-14-11-34. Manchester 6-8-11-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 4; Manchester 1 / 5.
Goalies-Worcester, Sexsmith 3-4-2 (25 shots-23 saves). Manchester, Jones 6-7-0 (34 shots-33 saves).
A-2,950
Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Landon Bathe (80), Jeremy Lovett (78).

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