WorSharks snap skid against Manchester, defeat Monarchs 3-1

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Thursday, December 29, 2011 - Save & Share - One Comment


The Worcester Sharks could only muster one win against the Manchester Monarchs in their previous six meetings this season, and were mired in a five game losing streak to their division rivals but thanks to multiple point nights from Curt Gogol and Ryan Del Monte plus a solid goaltending performance from Harri Sateri the WorSharks defeated Manchester 3-1 Wednesday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of a very loud crowd of 4,069.

The first period was scoreless due to Sateri and Monarchs netminder Jeff Zatkoff making several key saves. Zatkoff had a great stop against a Mike Connolly bid shorthanded and then robbed John McCarthy halfway through the period. Sateri wasn’t truly tested, but on the shots Manchester did have Sateri made clean saves and controlled the rebounds.

Every game between the WorSharks and the Monarchs has a lot of huge hits, and the opening period was no exception with Mike Moore and Sean Sullivan crushing Manchester forward Cam Paddock in front of the Worcester goal. Paddock was slow getting up and didn’t return until the middle of the second period. Gogol, despite giving away three inches and 25 pounds, threw a bone jarring hit against Andrew Campbell at the WorSharks blue line.

Worcester did have a about 15 seconds in the middle stanza where it looked like they would lose two players to injury when Gogol took a puck to the side of the head on a failed clearing attempt. He did get to his feet quickly after play was stopped and was visibly angry as he stormed off to the dressing room. When play was restarted seconds later Matt Pelech blocked a shot and limped down the tunnel leaving the team with just 16 skaters. Both would eventually return, and would play major roles in the victory.

The period would also see the only fight in the contest when Jimmy Bonneau and Justin Johnson renewed acquaintances at center ice that most called even.

The second period would start just like the first with both goalies making saves and the teams trying to line each other up for huge hits. There was a slight delay about five minutes into the period when the glass behind Zatkoff broke–literally in half into two pieces–but that didn’t slow the pace of the game down one iota.

Zatkoff had given up just six goals in his previous four games against Worcester so the WorSharks knew they were likely going to need to get some luck to light the lamp, and they got just enough when Brodie Reid hit Sean Sullivan with a pass at the Manchester blue line. Sullivan teed the puck up and blasted it on net where Nathan Moon was just able to get just enough of the blast to tip it past Zatkoff for the 1-0 lead at 14:48.

Lady luck would again shine on the WorSharks when Zatkoff absolutely misplayed Pelech’s blue line blast. Gogol won a clean draw from the left wing circle over to Del Monte, who then threw a cross ice pass to Pelech at the blue line. Pelech’s unscreened laser along the ice from 60 feet away beat Zatkoff cleanly threw the five hole at 18:08. Sateri made sure it would stay that way through 40 minutes with a huge save against Robert Czarnik’s breakaway bid with just under 30 seconds remaining in the period.

Early in the third period the WorSharks defense would come up big in stopping odd man rushes by Manchester, with Brian O’Hanley using some timely back checking to break up a bid and Pelech blocking another shot that sent him beck to the bench limping on the same leg. Gogol would give the WorSharks a little extra cushion with a bang-bang goal right in front of the Monarchs net. After Del Monte was taken down hard in the left wing corner Bonneau was able to get a piece of the bouncing puck. Gogol finally got full control of it and whistled a shot from about five feet in front of Zatkoff into the net at 6:25.

The WorSharks would get their first, and only, power play chance of the game at 15:06, but it would be Manchester that grabbed a quick goal when Dwight King went on a three zone breakaway and beat Sateri five hole just ten seconds later. Sateri did stand tall the rest of the way, and with the help of several blocked shots by his defense sent the Monarchs home losers.

GAME NOTES
WorSharks scratches were Taylor Doherty, Ben Guite, Tony Lucia, Cam MacIntyre, and Nick Petrecki. Tyson Sexsmith was the back-up goaltender.

Anecdotal Wednesday is the lowest attendance night across the entire AHL, so it was a little bit of a shock to see the DCU Center so full for the contest against Manchester. Every AHL team lists tickets sold as their attendance number for each game, but the 4,069 listed in the box score looked to be pretty accurate with the lower bowl being mostly full. It was also one of the loudest crowds of the season. At the end of the game the WorSharks saluted the crowd at center ice.

The Jimmy Bonneau and Justin Johnson bout has edged the WorSharks to the 50 fight plateau through 29 games this season, which leads the AHL. Courtesy of the WorSharks, here’s a list of the fourteen different players with fighting majors this season Worcester fighters: Jimmy Bonneau and Curt Gogol both have 10 fights; Sena Acolatse, Cam MacIntyre, Nathan Moon, and Matt Pelech have each fought four times; Brandon Mashinter have been in three bouts; Frazer McLaren, Mike Moore, and Tommy Wingels have dropped the gloves twice; and Ryan Del Monte, Taylor Doherty, James Livingston, John McCarthy, and Nick Petrecki have all been in the sin bin once for fighting. The Sharks are on a pace to shatter their team record for fights in a season, set last season when they averaged on per game.

Worcester has been in a fight in 15 consecutive games, which according to Bill Ballou of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, sets a city pro record. As Ballou listed in the paper today during the 2001-2002 season the IceCats had a 14 game streak.

If referee Chris Cozzan doesn’t look all black and blue after the game he can thank his equipment as he was hit with a puck at least a half dozen times in the first period alone. He might also wish to make sure his whistle works as it apparently malfunctioned several times during the game when he failed to blow it following obvious penalty calls in both directions.

The three stars of the game were:
1. WOR – Gogol (g,a)
2. WOR – Sateri (22 saves)
3. WOR – Pelech (g, several blocked shots)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Ryan Del Monte.

BOXSCORE

Manchester 0 0 1 – 1
Worcester 0 2 1 – 3

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Irwin Wor (tripping), 2:46; Mashinter Wor (interference), 11:05; Johnson Mch (fighting), 14:21; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 14:21.

2nd Period-1, Worcester, Moon 6 (Sullivan, Reid), 14:48. 2, Worcester, Pelech 1 (Del Monte, Gogol), 18:06. Penalties-No Penalties

3rd Period-3, Worcester, Gogol 4 (Bonneau, Del Monte), 6:25. 4, Manchester, King 5 (Cliche), 15:16 (SH). Penalties-Muzzin Mch (tripping), 15:06.

Shots on Goal-Manchester 7-5-11-23. Worcester 13-16-6-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 0 / 2; Worcester 0 / 1.
Goalies-Manchester, Zatkoff 9-4-1 (35 shots-32 saves). Worcester, Sateri 6-4-0 (23 shots-22 saves).
A-4,069
Referees-Chris Cozzan (18).
Linesmen-Todd Whittemore (70), Brian MacDonald (72).

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Time December 30, 2011 at 8:49 AM

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